Local MP backs Labour move for free NHS prescriptions for all
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26 Sep 2019
West MP Margaret Greenwood has welcomed an announcement by Labour that it would
abolish NHS England prescription charges to make prescribed medicines free at
the point of use for everyone.
Stats from NHS Digital show
that, in Wirral, there are around 7 million GP prescriptions dispensed each
bold move, announced at the Party’s annual Conference earlier this week, would
bring England into line with Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where
prescription charges were abolished in 2007, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
current prescription charge is £9 per item and this is a particular burden on
people with long term conditions like asthma, HIV and chronic kidney disease,
which are not included in the current medical charge exemption scheme.
charges are known to deter people from taking their prescribed medication, with
33% of people with prescriptions not collecting them due to cost. A Nursing
Times survey of health professionals found that 87% of asthma patients had
skipped their medication because of the prescription charge.
The current government said in
June 2019 that it has no plans to review the prescription charging system in
Greenwood MP said:
is a really positive announcement for people in Wirral where around 7 million
GP prescriptions are dispensed each year.
is a matter of real concern that so many people do not collect their
prescriptions due to the cost, with others reducing their recommended doses
simply because they cannot afford it.
out or cutting down on prescribed medicines can lead to people becoming more
ill and needing further treatment later on, which in turn can be less effective
and more expensive in the long run.
is a fundamental right. People should not have to worry about how much their
medication will cost. That is why a Labour government would make all
prescriptions free of charge.”
people, including those aged 60 and over, and those aged under 16 can already
get free NHS prescriptions. To see if you qualify under current rules, you can