Prescription cost go up in England but in Scotland, prescriptions are still free!
prescription cost goes up, not an April fool's joke.
I had my radio on today but I wasn't paying too much attention to it, I was about to switch it off when I heard the news that the prescription cost in England is going up, a 20p increase, while in Scotland they have abolished prescription charges!!
What this means is that England is the only country in the UK that still charges for a prescription.
Northern Ireland abolished theirs in 2010 and Wales abolished their prescription charges back in 2007, additionally they have also announced today that the morning after pill will now be free without need of a prescription.
This makes them the first country in the UK to make emergency contraception available without charge.
I was hoping this prescription cost story might be some kind of sick April fool's joke but unfortunately it is no joke.
The department of health says that some 90% of people are exempt. Here's what Asthma UK said last year
"We are disappointed that the Coalition Government has announced free prescription charges for people with long-term conditions in England will not be taken forward at this time. We know that many people with asthma struggle to pay for their medicines, and some have to choose not to get some of their prescriptions because of the cost."
Dr Hamish Meldrum of the British Medical Association Council said
'The bureaucracy needed to administer prescription charges is cumbersome, many of the exemptions are confusing and unfair. Patients with disabling long-term conditions still have to pay them despite a recent report recommending they be phased out.
Most importantly, the principle of charging for prescriptions runs counter to the founding principle of an NHS that is free at the point of use'
That is the crux of it, the NHS is supposed to be free and many people who don't fall into the exemption parameters are going to suffer.
I don't put the blame solely on this government though. Successive governments have failed to address this problem but now it's time to address it.
If it is not addressed the price will continue to increase and more people will suffer.
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