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Monday, 12 January 2009

Free prescriptions prove their worth as the credit crunch continues to bite

I think it’s worth taking a minute to point out the good that some health policies in Wales are doing to help patients stave off the credit crunch.

Prior to free prescriptions some patients may have thought twice about accessing health care, or not picked up their prescription, because of the cost. This is now one less thing for people in Wales to have to worry about.

It seems almost hardly a day passes now without more news of job losses and companies being put into administration. But there is some small consolation for us here in Wales; at least we know a trip to the doctor’s won’t leave us out of pocket, with everyone being able to benefit from free prescriptions.

This was a policy BMA Cymru Wales fought long and hard to have introduced here and it couldn’t have happened at a more fortuitous time, given the current economic conditions. And with NHS Trusts gradually phasing out hospital parking charges, people need not worry so much about the financial burden a long term health condition may have caused before these policies were introduced. It does however make the £7.10 fee patients in England currently have to pay, even more of a bitter pill to swallow.

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