Friday, April 1, 2011

From today, only the English have to pay for prescriptions (and no, that's not an April Fool's joke!) - 1st Apr 2011

Scottish patients can collect free prescriptions from today – leaving England as the only country in the UK still charging for them.

English patients will be charged £7.40 for every item prescribed by a doctor – an increase of 20p – but Scotland today joins Wales and Northern Ireland in abolishing the charges.

The move means that English patients are effectively subsiding free drugs for those living elsewhere in the UK

Doctors and charities claim the charges are ‘absurd’ and could potentially cost lives as poorer people may be discouraged from getting vital drugs.

It is also further evidence of a medical apartheid in Britain which sees patients in the devolved nations benefiting from higher spending on healthcare per head, even though they pay less tax.

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