Hospital trusts in the West Midlands are making millions of pounds from car parking fees prompting accusations of levying a "tax on sick people".
NHS hospitals across England are raising increasing amounts of money from staff, patients and visitors, including those who are disabled and are handing over millions of pounds to private firms to run car parks, according to newly released data.
Some are tied into private finance initiative deals, where all the money raised from charging ill patients, staff and visitors goes to private firms under lengthy contracts.
The highest earning trusts in the West Midlands are Heart of England NHS Trust, which includes Heartlands (Birmingham), Good Hope (Sutton Coldfield) and Solihull Hospital.
It has collected £3.41 million in 2014/15 from parking charges.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, which covers City Hospital in Birmingham and Sandwell Hospital, has raised £2.18 million.
The figures have been published by the Press Association following a Freedom of Information request. Some NHS trusts also raised a significant amount from charging staff for parking.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, branded the charges "morally wrong".
She said: "We are concerned that hospitals in England still charge patients for car parking. It is a postcode lottery and a tax on sick people who sometimes struggle to pay.
"The money is never re-invested in front-line services. Hospital car parks are often managed by private contractors who take a huge percentage of the profits. This is morally wrong."
Matt Harper Sutton Coldfield, who is expecting his second child in the new year, has been visiting relatives at the town's Good Hope Hospital.
"I think it is disgraceful," said the mechanic.
"You go there to visit a loved one and they charge stupid amounts of money for just a couple of hours.
"I had a baby last year and we were in there for three days and the parking charges were about £25-£30, at £5 every time when we were there at least twice a day.
"But what they didn't tell you is when I spoke to another patient, they had a pass which was something like £10 for three days and they don't advertise that.
"If they did, more people would do that instead of ripping them off every time."
Another visitor to Good Hope, Claire Riches, said the charges were unfair and it was never made explicitly clear to the public where all the money ended up.
"It's totally unfair and I don't think you'll find anybody that will say that is fair," she said.
"It's a sneaky way of getting extra money in and nobody knows where it actually goes. I mean there's obviously a firm making a profit from this, effectively a profit from people being ill and visiting their family and friends."
No-one was immediately available for comment from the Heart of England NHS Trust or Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.
But a Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We expect all NHS organisations to follow our guidelines on car parking, including offering discounts to disabled people.
"Patients and families shouldn't have to deal with the added stress of unfair parking charges and our guidance rightly helps the public hold the NHS to account for any unfair charges or practices."