Free parking has been extended at three of Scotland’s hospitals.
A measure to scrap charges put in place in March this year at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary will continue until January, the Scottish Government has announced.
The initial decision was made to ensure staff caring for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic would not have to pay to park at their place of work, but it has also ensured patients and visitors have not been left out of pocket.
The PFI hospitals initially decided to scrap the payments for three months, before extending the move to September 30 and now to the beginning of next year.
In May, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said extending the pause on charges to September meant “we are able alleviate some of the worry and upset that’s caused to our staff as they do so much to help protect all of us”.
Parking fees at all hospitals except those built under PFI were scrapped in 2008.
Ms Freeman announced the latest extension on Friday, and also said the Scottish Government is still looking at ways to resolve the parking charge issue at the three hospitals.
She said: “In March I wrote to the car park providers at these three PFI hospitals urging them to suspend car parking charges for staff and patients for at least the duration that NHS Scotland remained on an emergency footing. I am pleased they agreed to do this and extended the arrangements until September 2020.
“As we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, I am pleased that we are able to extend the free car parking arrangements until January 2021.
“This extension continues to support staff and remove the barriers to our staff working with the NHS during these unprecedented times.”
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