Friday, 25 September 2009

Failure to support free parking bill will fetter access to NHS in Scotland

Govan Law Centre (GLC) is deeply concerned at the lack of cross-party support for the principle of unfettered, free, public access to NHS services in Scotland.

GLC agreed to draft Paul Martin MSP's proposed NHS Parking (Scotland) Bill on behalf of UNISON Scotland because we believe in the principle of universal free health care in Scotland.

GLC's Mike Dailly said: "Patients, visitors and health workers currently cannot access three of Scotland's major hospitals unless they have the money to pay for hospital parking charges. Elsewhere in Scotland there are various forms of 'semi-free' access to hospitals, which are often rendered meaningless in practice as there are inadequate parking spaces".

"If you can't park near a hospital you can't access health care services or support a loved one. It's that simple. Universal free health care has to include universal free access to all NHS services in Scotland. At the very least the principle of unfettered public access to Scottish hospitals deserves to be discussed by the Scottish Parliament. Sadly that won't happen unless there is cross-party support on this important law reform proposal".

Link to UNISON Scotland's Bill campaign page.

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