If it can happen here......
free drugs for all!Monday 29 September 2008 17:02
Prescription charges scrapped
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has announced plans to abolish prescription charges in Northern Ireland.
The cost of a prescription will be reduced to Â£3 in January 2009 and then will be free of charge by April 2010, with the Department of Health pledging to foot the Â£13m cost from its existing budget.
The minister said the move followed a review of prescription charges and was in the best traditions of the National Health Service.
Mr McGimpsey said prepayment certificates will also come down in price, from Â£35.85 to Â£9 for four months and from Â£98.70 to Â£25 for 12 months until prescriptions are free.
Making the announcement at the Cancer Centre in Belfast City Hospital, the minister said: "A cradle-to-grave health service, free at the point of delivery, is the founding principle of the NHS, which was founded 60 years ago this year.
"It is a principle that I, and the entire population of Northern Ireland, wholeheartedly support,â he said.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced free prescriptions for cancer patients in England, while prescription charges were entirely abolished in Wales in April 2007 and will be phased out in Scotland by 2011.