Parking demo hits Ninewells
Saturday 7 March 2009
A demonstration against car parking charges in Scotland’s Health Service will take place today at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Ninewells is one of three Scottish hospitals that still charge for car parking, because it is run under a PFI contract.
Comprising activists, NHS staff and politicians the demo is designed to build support for a private member’s bill in the Scottish Parliament, submitted by Labour MSP, Paul Martin. This would outlaw charging for parking anywhere in the NHS in Scotland, and is also backed by healthcare union, UNISON. The Demo outside Ninewells will start at 12 noon.
Paul Martin, MSP for Glasgow Springburn said
"My bill will make it illegal for a health board to levy parking charges on patients, visitors or staff - or anyone who has to visit a site for whatever reason.
"If commercial sites like Braehead and the Fort shopping centres can provide free parking, it is a sad reflection that people who are being cared for in hospital and their families have to pay to park. It is an extra hassle that patients and their families do not need at what is already a stressful time."
Labour MSP from Dundee, Marlyn Glen MSP said:
"Paul Martin’s Bill will remove the current two-tier system of parking at NHS hospitals that discriminates against NHS patients, NHS staff and NHS visitors at Ninewells."
Jim McGovern – Labour MP for Dundee West said:
"I fully support the Bill by Paul Martin MSP to abolish NHS car parking charges throughout Scotland. For us here in Dundee, and indeed the surrounding area, the debate has now moved on from the rights and wrongs of hospital car parking charges.
"Since parking charges have been abolished throughout Scotland, with the exception of Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh, people in Dundee have made it clear to me that the debate is now quite simply one of fairness for the patients and staff who use the car parking at Ninewells Hospital."
Katrina Murray - Labour PPC for Dundee East and UNISON activist said:
"People in Tayside have long been opposed to forking out for car parking at Ninewells. It is seen here as a mini industry and that just cannot be acceptable.
“Although Ninewells is a city hospital with good public transport links, the area it serves is huge in geographical terms stretching from North Fife through Angus to Highland Perthshire.
“Public transport in these localities is often scant or even non-existent, so a car and somewhere to park it is definitely needed to attend clinics, visit, or to get admitted, and- for the people who make the health service happen -actually get to work. Profit simply should not come into it.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Andrew MacFadyen (for Paul Martin MSP)
Chris Bartter (Communications Officer – UNISON) 0771 558 3729(m)