8 March 2009

How about Free Prescriptions for England?

Having read recently about how Scotland and Norther Ireland were soon to join Wales in giving free prescription medicine to all, I thought I'd go to the Nomber10 petitions site to see if there are any petitions to extend that to England. I found 2:


I would suggest that anyone (in the UK,obviously) who agrees that prescriptions throughout the UK should be free, not just in 'Everywhere that isn't England', signs these. The first closes April this year and the second closes January next year but currently has more signatures. Maybe it will do some good, maybe it won't, but it's got to be worth 5 minutes.

Only 11% of precriptions redeemed are chargable, the vast majority being exempt for any of a number of reasons. In all likelihood the added cost of those 11% being made free would not be onerous. Infact, I do wonder if the costs of administering those charges may not outweigh the income. I submitted an FOI request to the Department of health to find out:


I fully expect them to come back with one of the normal excuses like "We don't hold that information, try the local PCTs" or "We do hold that information but it will cost too much to collate it and send it to you." Worth a try though. If anyone else wants to submit a similar request to Department of health or their own PCT, have at 'em.

Politicians work for us, if we keep bothering them they might remember it. Squeaky wheel gets oil and all that.

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