Scots prescription charge change6th December 2007
Ministers have decided against immediately scrapping prescription charges in Scotland for the chronically ill.
Instead, there will be a series of reductions in charges with the cost of a single prescription to be cut by more than 25% in 2008, followed by further yearly reductions with full abolition by 2011.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon had told MSPs the charges were a ‚Äútax on ill health.‚Ä?
The SNP had promised to ‚Äúimmediately abolish‚Ä? prescription charges for people with chronic conditions, cancer and for those in full-time education or training. Ms Sturgeon said the cost of pre-payment certificates - which cover a person's prescription costs over a 12-month period - would be cut from almost ¬£100 to under ¬£50 from next April, to benefit people suffering from chronic and long-term conditions.
Ms Sturgeon said that more and more people were living with long-term conditions.
She added: ‚ÄúMany of those long-term conditions can, with the right support and medication, be self-managed by patients in their own homes, enabling them to go on enjoying a good quality of life.
‚ÄúThe problem is that many people with long-term conditions that are not already exempt from charges simply can't afford the right medication."
In April next year, the cost for a single prescription will be cut from ¬£6.85 to ¬£5 and will be further reduced by ¬£1 in each of the two subsequent years before abolition, just before the next Holyrood election.
The move is similar to the position in Wales where prescription charges were gradually reduced from 2000 and abolished this year.
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Title: Scots prescription charge change
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 5007
Date Added: 6th Dec 2007