Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Lessons Of History

This could be fun, if you don't live in Scotland, that is.

MSPs have voted to scrap NHS prescription charges in Scotland, a key SNP pledge in the 2007 elections.

Labour supports the plan but the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats believe the cash could be better spent in other areas.
Or, more to the point, the extra cash which this will require to be spent could be a drain on other areas.

Although the NHS, which was founded in 1948, was meant to provide a completely free health service for everyone, a growing drugs bill prompted the introduction of prescription charges in 1952.


In 1965, under Harold Wilson, Labour abolished prescription charges. This caused the NHS drugs bill to soar, as many low-cost items that patients had previously bought for themselves were increasingly prescribed. Labour relented in June 1968, and restored prescription charges
Good luck with that soaring drugs bill, Shona.


Dominic Allkins said...

So long as we Sassenachs don't have to subsidise the extra drugs bill they can do whatever they want so far as I'm concerned.

Of course we all know what will really happen though - more redistribution of our money North of the Border.


Anonymous said...

The paradox of prescription charges is that 94% of them are free, simply because the greatest users (very old, very young, contraception etc) use the vast majority of items prescribed.
Chances are the whole complex payment-handling system for the remaining 6% probably costs more to operate than it brings in.
Maybe we should scrap the whole system and either charge for all or free for all, it would certainly be more efficient.

subrosa said...

Dominic, your attitude makes me want to mention the oil found in Scotland's water, but I'm too polite to do so.

That's the rub anonymous. The figures show there will be little difference and the only one will be any rise in prescriptions. GPs are supposed to be monitoring that - maybe.