Hospital parking charges are fair treatment

Hospital parking charges are fair treatment

Your correspondent thinks that hospital parking should be free (letters, Mature Times October 2014). It costs a lot of money to provide parking spaces, the road surface of each space and the access roads have to be maintained, security and lighting have to be monitored and maintained, council tax has to be paid on the land and then there is the loss of income involved from not using that land for some productive purpose (what economists call the ‘opportunity cost’).

If these costs are not met by the drivers who use the car parks then they would have to be met by the hospitals and that means taking money out of the health budget at a time when it is already buckling under the strain of the number of patients and the cost of treatments. Is it right that those suffering illness should be deprived of treatment in order to give cheap travel to drivers who could in any case afford the relatively small parking charges involved?

Furthermore, what about those people who do not drive. Is it fair that they should be discriminated against?

Health money is for treating patients, not for subsidising car drivers!

Peter Conliffe, London