Will GP visitors have to pay to attend surgery

SIR, — I was very interested to read in last week’s edition about plans to introduce car parking charges at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.

Given that two GP surgeries are located at the hospital, does the mean that when people go to see their doctor, will they have to pay?

This is a question which the South Eastern Trust must answer. 

In my particular case, I attend the hospital site to see a specialist nurse for my heart condition. Am I now going to have to pay park my car?

The Downe has been very successful in being nominated as one of three regional cataract surgery centres. People from the across the South Eastern Trust area are now coming to use this highly regarded service and are they now going to have to pay?

The Downe is a wonderful hospital, delivered by local hospital campaigners, elected representatives and health officials. 

Car parking charges do not currently apply but when they are introduced next year, I fear it will bring up a lot of issues. For example, will disabled blue badge holders have to play to park?

It would appear that after the news of the car parking charges was outlined at last week’s meeting of the Down Community Health Committee by a senior South Eastern Trust official, there are more questions than answers.

Yours etc,



(Name and address supplied).