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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2021

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch

Save our NHS, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Nearly four million people in England who currently qualify for free prescriptions face paying 9.35 per item if the Tories carry out their plan to raise the qualification age from 60 to 66.

The government 'consultation' (read marketing exercise) on the change was quietly launched on 1 July and runs to 2 September.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) itself admits "the policy would affect some lower income groups more severely", and that some 264,000 people are "likely to be deterred" from collecting their prescriptions because of the charge. The DHSC describes this as a "small negative impact in health inequalities".

Raising the age for free prescriptions will badly impact older people's health. In a 2017 survey of 5,600 people in England with long term medical conditions, the Prescription Charges Coalition found that 33% had not collected a prescription due to cost and 15% sometimes or often skipped or reduced their doses because of cost. This led to poorer health and lost time from work.

While approximately 40% of the population in England currently qualify for free prescriptions (by age, receipt of certain state benefits, or certain medical conditions), many chronic conditions, such as asthma and arthritis, are not included for exemptions. Cancer was only added to the list in 2009.

576 million was raised through prescription charges in 2018-19. The Tories hope to raise a further 300 million a year from this change.

Prescriptions are already free of charge in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and should be in England too. Trade unions must oppose the Tories' plans and demand free prescriptions for all, together with the nationalisation and integration into the NHS of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies.

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In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS

NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


LGBTQ+

Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter


Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


International

New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


News

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Campaigns

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


 

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Related links:

Tories:

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

triangleTrade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

triangleKick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Save our NHS from the Tories

triangleTories deliver second slap in the face to NHS workers

Workers:

trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

triangleLGBTQ+ workers' charter

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs is back

Health:

trianglePutting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: NHS in Crisis

Medical:

triangleKeep private hands off NHS patient data

triangleWomen's health matters

Benefits:

triangleKeep the Universal Credit uplift

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/7/21

Covid

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

14/7/21

Benefits

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

14/7/21

NHS

Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

14/7/21

Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid

14/7/21

Lgbtq

LGBTQ+ workers' charter

14/7/21

NHS

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

14/7/21

Tories

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

14/7/21

Poverty

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

14/7/21

Wealth

Wealth chasm widens

7/7/21

Environment

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

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NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

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Manchester

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

5/7/21

NHS

Tories deliver second slap in the face to NHS workers

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Britain

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