Car parking charges at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh have been extended from today until September.
The hospital built under Private Finance Initiative (PFI) normally imposes car parking charges but these were suspended in March 2020 for an initial period of three months.
Ms Freeman said:“I want to once again thank all our health and social care staff for their ongoing extraordinary efforts as we face this pandemic. Because of them, the NHS remains open. The staff of the NHS should not experience any unnecessary difficulties whilst they continue to go above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the end of March, I confirmed car park providers at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital HAD agreed to remove car parking charges for staff, visitors and patients for three months, and I’m pleased to announce this provision will be extended for a further three months until the end of September.
“Our health and safety are their top priorities, and so it’s important we remove any barriers that get in their way.”
The Scottish Government abolished charges at NHS car parks in 2008 saving an estimated £39 million in charges since then. But the PFI regulations have stopped the government from abolishing charges in Edinburgh and at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Ninewells Hospital.
Concessions are available at all times where visitors to hospitals are dealing with extreme trauma or bereavement.