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Prescription Charges

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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34.

asked the Minister of Health what reply he has sent to the resolution on prescription charges unanimously adopted by the Health Executive Council for Southampton on 21st March, 1961, which has been sent to him.

Is the Minister aware that this executive council, which comprises voluntary and professional workers of all political parties experienced in and devoted to the Health Service, has expressed its alarm at the damage which might be done to the Health Service by the new prescription charges? Is he aware that the bulk of the voluntary and professional workers in the great Health Service which he leads will welcome the day when he sees the light and brings the Health Service back into the state in which it was?

I am to see a deputation from the Executive Councils' Association later this week. I shall, of course, direct my mind to anything that it has to say to me.

How many communications has the Minister had from executive councils in Great Britain protesting against these prescription charges?

I cannot say without notice, but I have no doubt that what the Executive Councils' Association has to say to me later this week will be broadly in line with those communications.

40.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, since the increase in prescription charges, an increasing number of people are unable to afford prescribed items from chemists immediately; and what information he has received from chemists dispensing under the National Health Service as to the extent of this delay between presentation of prescriptions and the collection of medicines.

Is the Minister aware that in certain areas this is causing grave concern and also is causing a great deal of trouble to chemists? If I send him the necessary information, will he take due note of it?

Yes. It is only on the basis of concrete cases that any appreciation can be gained.