“Prescription charges can be just one more barrier and should go”

Dr Ron Singer is a GP and President of the Medical Practitioners Union, a section of the union UNITE. Here he explains why he believes Prescription charges should be abolished.

“As a practising GP in a deprived area of north London, I know that the cost of prescriptions can put some people off getting the medicines they need. We talk about there being an ‘Inverse Care Law’ which says the more health care a person needs the less they get in the UK and here is another example. No well off person would think twice abut paying for the medicines they need. The less well off who often have more frequent need for medicines will be the group that think twice about filling the prescription their GP has given them.The government talks a lot about reducing the gap between the health of the poorest in society and the better off. Prescription charges can be just one more barrier and so should go. Unpopular as we are told it may be, raising general taxation is a much better and ‘healthier’ way to generate money for the NHS.

The Labour Government is not popular at the moment. Supporting the NHS instead of privatising it and helping people who are ill to pay for their medicines would reassert the principles and values of the NHS that the majority of the public still uphold and would be a tonic to us all.”



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