The recent announcement of an increase in prescription charges is “good news” for the English, because they will have more services of a higher cost and lower volume: the very services that Aneurin Bevan wanted to be available equally to miners and bankers. Unfortunately, with 4 / 5 health services, we are going to see more differences rather than les, in life expectancy (measurable) and in many services (unmeasurable) in the future. Wales and Scotland seem unable to discuss the subject of prescription charges without the emotion involved in a regressive rather than a progressive system. The short termism of this discussion, avoiding the “hard truths” and longer term financial issues means there will be more movement between different dispensations in future… But even this may become more within England, as different commissioners reduce the choices available to their patients. In Wales these choices have been severely limited for a decade, but then we know we are second class citizens.
There are already co=payments in eyes and dental services. Why not the drugs and appliances? We have to bring reality into the Health Services, and we need to challenge and “accuse” our governments of failing us with devolution.
In the current financial year in England:
If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 14 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC. The charge for a single prescription item is £8.80 (from 1st April 2018), whereas a three month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12 month PPC £104.00. They are free for many groups: children, retired, disabled etc. Why not charge according to means?
The Pharmaceutical Journal 25th Feb 2019: Prescription fees set to increase to £9 from April 2019
Money Saving Expert 21st Feb 2019: NHS prescription charge to rise to £9