Thursday, 1 March 2012

Parking Fines and Doctors

I was annoyed yesterday. On returning to our car in a hospital car park after visiting a sick friend we saw the unwelcome yellow package stuck to the windscreen. It contained notice of an automatic fine, for parking in the wrong place. I should not have been annoyed. I chose to park there, in the hopes of "getting away with it." I didn't and shouldn't have. 


What I should have been doing was to be grateful for medical services, free at the point of need, that were successfully providing the expert medical intervention our friend needed. There is a lot wrong with the UK's National Health Service. I don't believe the changes proposed in the government's Health and Social Care Bill 2011 will make things better. But - the availability of medical care here is still a blessing that some people in the world can only dream about.


The focus today in Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' Lent calendar is Burundi. After years of conflict this African country is one of the poorest in the world. Life expectancy is 48.9 years.


In Burundi there is less than 1 doctor for every 20,00 people.
In Britain there are 42 doctors for every 20,000 people.


Christian Aid suggests you give 10p for every doctor at your local surgery.
There are 6 doctors at mine, so that's 60p.



6 comments:

  1. 90p for me!
    Christian Aid missed a trick there - they would have got more if you gave how much it costs to park at you local hospital multiplied by how long it takes to find a parking space.

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  2. I think you are right Alison. I paid £1.50 to park for half-an hour (it was a brief visit). I drove around a full car park (with several other cars doing the same thing) for 10 minutes - £1.50 X 10 = £15.00. I incurred a fine of £60 (or £30 if I pay quickly. So the total is £75 or £45...mmmmm....

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  3. When my spouse was in hospital for an operation, last year, to far for me to travel by public transport, I stayed in a hospital car park for 12 hours for the Pre-Op, Op and Post-Op period, saw that she was OK. Told she was to be detained overnight, I left for home. The car park issues ticket when you enter and you pay on departure. I was charged over £35, and the machine didn't take cards. I had to try to find that much in change at 9pm. I wasn't best pleased. If I had been fined £35.00, I would have 14 days to pay, not pay now or you won't be able to leave the car park.

    Car parking charges at hospitals are justified on the basis of helping to keep costs down. The particular hospital trust is millions in debt and has since merged with another. Car parking charges in hospital car parks penalise patients and visitors alike. They are a scandal and a license to print money. We've managed to change the law about Cowboy Clampers, what about changing for the Cowboy Hospital Parking Charges.

    Rant over. My spouse was fine, which was my main concern at the time.

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  4. UK Viewer - sorry - only just caught up with your comment on checking my spam box. Don't know why Blogger thought your comment was spam. Hospital parking is so difficult - one of our local hospitals (which has the A and E dept) extended its buildings and sold off 'surplus' land to a housing developer, with the result that the car parking spaces are fewer although the hospital now serves more patients each day. There is no parking allowed in surrounding roads and getting there by bus in not practicable for many. Not all the villages round our way have a bus!

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  5. My husband is a hospital doctor and while on call he dashed to the hospital to save a man who was bleeding heavily. There was no parking space so he parked behind a line of other cars on a white line within the hospital grounds, not blocking anyone ! I must add, this has happened 2 times in the last month and he has had to pay 2 separate parking fines ! He even has the sticker on his call that states he is a medical doctor/parking pass for hospital !!!
    Awful !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - that's dreadful. Could he not appeal?

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