Being poorly isn’t cheap

I was listening to today’s Jeremy Vine show and he was discussing the moral rights and wrongs of car parking charges at hospitals.

Most hospitals, if not all, now charge everyone who uses the hospital car park. Of course, visitors, patients and all NHS staff (including myself) have indignantly moaned and groaned about having to pay to park our cars. The justifications for the parking charged by the NHS gods have ranged from being the efforts to deter car use for the sake of the environment down to funding the maintenance and security costs that the car parks provide such as lighting and CCTV. Can’t resist mentioning here that it never stopped my car from being broke into – one amongst many other similar incidences.

That’s not important. I’m not so bothered about having £8.60 a month deducted from my wage every month. What I object to and find most unethical is the fact that people who are unfortunate enough to be struck with an illness that requires regular hospital trips are being hit with another expense. It’s like kicking them when they’re down. Bear in mind that illness such as cancer strikes hard in the pocket already because not only do the sufferers eventually lose their sick pay, they are also faced with many additional costs on top of their travel expenses to and from hospital (many cancer patients need to make daily visits to hospital). There are also the huge prescription costs, items they may need such as wigs, specialised bras, incontinence pads, and so on. Contrary to widely held belief, these things aren’t generally provided for by the NHS outside the hospital environment.

Read these real-life stories of how poorly people often face financial hardship at a time when they are most vulnerable and helpless to do anything about it.

For those people who are just above the benefits threshold, the financial burden added to loss of earnings can be the cause of much stress and anxiety and can place a strain on the whole family. Money should be the last thing on their minds. Such things are totally counter-productive to healing and rehabilitation.

If it were not for the inspiring work of cancer charities and all the wonderful people who volunteer to take part in all kinds of fund-raising activities, where would we be?


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