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thombleached

NHS Prescriptions

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MODS: Feel free to delete after answer is posted.

I just picked up my repeat prescription and paid for it as I always do. But as I signed the ticket, I pondered just what % of NHS prescriptions are subsidised? I could only find the following:

Quote

You can get free NHS prescriptions if, at the time the prescription is dispensed, you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16-18 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)  
  • have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
  • have a continuing physical disability that prevents you from going out without help from another person and have a valid MedEx
  • hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS inpatient

You are also entitled to free prescriptions if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or  
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit 
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria 

If you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both) and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

 Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

 

The two that stuck out to reveal the largess of subsidy are "Universal Credit" and "a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate"

I'm just curious to know if there's any data showing the % of NHS prescriptions that are paid or unpaid. I can't seem to find anything online. Any ideas?

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2 minutes ago, thombleached said:

MODS: Feel free to delete after answer is posted.

I just picked up my repeat prescription and paid for it as I always do. But as I signed the ticket, I pondered just what % of NHS prescriptions are subsidised? I could only find the following:

The two that stuck out to reveal the largess of subsidy are "Universal Credit" and "a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate"

I'm just curious to know if there's any data showing the % of NHS prescriptions that are paid or unpaid. I can't seem to find anything online. Any ideas?

88% according to this

http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/nhs-prescription-charges

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My family are from a fairly low income area of Birmingham.  I remember paying for a prescription there once, and the person at the counter being very confused by the fact that I was paying, almost like I was the first ever person to pay!!

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Ta muchly.

 

Not much to say on that. I could start a diatribe about how it isn't fair that I have to pay twice, when 88% of prescriptions are doled out without even having to contribute via income tax, but I guess that's life

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3 minutes ago, reddog said:

My family are from a fairly low income area of Birmingham.  I remember paying for a prescription there once, and the person at the counter being very confused by the fact that I was paying, almost like I was the first ever person to pay!!

I'm on a regular prescription for asthma medication, for various reasons I'll often go to different Chemists to get it filled and it certainly does seem like it's the norm to pay for it given the questions they ask you, they often seem surprised you are paying for it. 

I would certainly believe that 88% figure. Most of the pensioners I know (my parents, their various friends) seem to be on an absolute ton of drugs most of the time. As I say I do have a regular prescription, but outside of that I literally cannot remember the last time I was prescribed something, I suspect that's true of most people my age even more so for those working and therefore likely to be paying for a prescription, as mentioned else where it's so difficult to see a doctor most of the time I suspect many don't bother in the first place.

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4 minutes ago, thombleached said:

Ta muchly.

 

Not much to say on that. I could start a diatribe about how it isn't fair that I have to pay twice, when 88% of prescriptions are doled out without even having to contribute via income tax, but I guess that's life

Well to be fair I suspect a massive percentage of that 88% will be pensioners, who may well have paid plenty in to the system at one point or another. My father for example is on all sorts of stuff (the more you get the more additional stuff you need for the side effects) but he has paid plenty in to the system having been in continuous employment since he left school at 16.

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Just now, gilf said:

Well to be fair I suspect a massive percentage of that 88% will be pensioners, who may well have paid plenty in to the system at one point or another. My father for example is on all sorts of stuff (the more you get the more additional stuff you need for the side effects) but he has paid plenty in to the system having been in continuous employment since he left school at 16.

Fair point. Let's call it 50% paying zero times, 38% paying once and 12% paying twice.

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I have no idea of the answer to your original question, Thombleached, but I do know that the pharmacy next to where I work has recently outraged patients on benefits by demanding proof of benefit. If patients are unable to show proof, they're charging. I'm outraged to think that they weren't seeing proof before. 

 

I work in a dental clinic where we've always asked for proof of benefit and charged when this wasn't forthcoming. Recently though, I've heard that individuals are being fined £100 if they say they have benefit and get free treatment but subsequently are found by the Business Services Authority not to have the benefit. 

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2 minutes ago, Bossybabe said:

I work in a dental clinic where we've always asked for proof of benefit and charged when this wasn't forthcoming. Recently though, I've heard that individuals are being fined £100 if they say they have benefit and get free treatment but subsequently are found by the Business Services Authority not to have the benefit. 


Have they updated the forms to say universal credit now?

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They haven't updated the blue dental PR forms, but our dental computer system has been updated. 

Ediit to say: We use the computer system to claim from the BSA. 

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Great system here in Morocco. Go see doctor in 5 mins. £7 cosultation for 1/2 hour. Presctiptions usually a quid or two per item.

You can reuse the prescription as many times as you like. Free follow up visit to doctor.

What took us years in the uk now takes a week. Blood tests, CT scans, xrays, all about £15 and you get to keep all the scans and results etc.

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11 minutes ago, raindog said:

Great system here in Morocco. Go see doctor in 5 mins. £7 cosultation for 1/2 hour. Presctiptions usually a quid or two per item.

You can reuse the prescription as many times as you like. Free follow up visit to doctor.

What took us years in the uk now takes a week. Blood tests, CT scans, xrays, all about £15 and you get to keep all the scans and results etc.

Can I just turn up and see a GP?

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Most who pay and are have long term issues purchase a prepayment certificate as over the year and with a charge per item it makes it a lot cheaper.... I know we do.

Asthma was one of these conditions where there was an argument for including it in the 'specified medical condition' but Government have said no dice... Funny you can get free if you have epilepsy or diabetes though...

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58 minutes ago, raindog said:

Great system here in Morocco. Go see doctor in 5 mins. £7 cosultation for 1/2 hour. Presctiptions usually a quid or two per item.

You can reuse the prescription as many times as you like. Free follow up visit to doctor.

What took us years in the uk now takes a week. Blood tests, CT scans, xrays, all about £15 and you get to keep all the scans and results etc.

If we had a pay-per-service system here, then I'm sure you'd be able to do the same. however you'd need to multiply every cost by 20.

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On 28/11/2016 at 1:03 PM, SarahBell said:

Can I just turn up and see a GP?

Yes you can. We just went this morning for a free follow up visit to our doctor who speaks very good English, trained in Germany and UK. Waited about 10 minutes and we were in. No phoning first just walk in.

We have relatives now who are seriously considering coming over just to see doctors and specialists as they are so flummoxed at trying to see a medical professional in blighty.

It took roughly a week in total to: see the doctor, get full range of blood tests and results, follow up with doc, get xrays and prints, follow up with doc, more blood tests and results, see specialist, ct scans plus prints and then final round of blood tests and follow up with a specialist and finally the doctor. All in about 9 days. Cost roughly £250 including prescriptions. My wife is back in good health now thank goodness.

A similar scenario a few years back in UK took just over a year for my wife. A year!!! Words can't describe my feelings on that.

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I don't know how good the data is, nor can I remember the exact numbers, but I recall it mentioned in scotland recently that 50% of nhs costs were incurred by x% of the population, where x is a number less than 5.

 

i.e. a small number of patients with chronic illnesses incurr much of the cost. I suspect a lot of them get their prescriptions paid.

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2 hours ago, raindog said:

Yes you can. We just went this morning for a free follow up visit to our doctor who speaks very good English, trained in Germany and UK. Waited about 10 minutes and we were in. No phoning first just walk in.

We have relatives now who are seriously considering coming over just to see doctors and specialists as they are so flummoxed at trying to see a medical professional in blighty.

It took roughly a week in total to: see the doctor, get full range of blood tests and results, follow up with doc, get xrays and prints, follow up with doc, more blood tests and results, see specialist, ct scans plus prints and then final round of blood tests and follow up with a specialist and finally the doctor. All in about 9 days. Cost roughly £250 including prescriptions. My wife is back in good health now thank goodness.

A similar scenario a few years back in UK took just over a year for my wife. A year!!! Words can't describe my feelings on that.

So we'd need a 14 day holiday too? Oh well the sunshine would be nice! :)

Can I set up a holiday company sending people through their health system?

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3 hours ago, raindog said:

A similar scenario a few years back in UK took just over a year for my wife. A year!!! Words can't describe my feelings on that.

I wonder how much demand is generated by having a completely free at the point of use system. I've seen written anecdotes in the medical trade press, about people demanding at the last minute to cancel and reschedule an MRI scan, thereby wasting £150 of scanner and staff time, because there was a time limited £10 off offer at the local nail bar. These anecdotes may well be exaggerations even if they aren't completely fabricated, but there has definitely been a change in the last 5 years or so. People are asking for much, much more when it is not appropriate.

 

One of the things that has driven a lot of colleagues to distraction, is that their specialist clinics are filled with people with very minor problems, that even a barely competent GP could easily deal with; but the GP doesn't want the earache, so makes the specialist referral; the waiting lists get longer, the cost is higher, and nothing of benefit has been achieved. It doesn't just stop there.

So, now you have the person with occasional simple tension headaches, which are easily diagnosed by someone vaguely competent, who should have been told to take some paracetamol when they get the headaches, and reduce caffeine intake, are now getting a 30 minute consultation with a neurologist (a speciality with a severe staff shortage). Then they turn up demand a scan, so they get a £200 MRI scan. And then, the MRI shows up something irrelevant, but undiagnosable, so now they're stuck having 6 monthly MRI scans "just to be absolutely sure that it isn't a slow growing tumour".

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27 minutes ago, ChumpusRex said:

I wonder how much demand is generated by having a completely free at the point of use system. I've seen written anecdotes in the medical trade press, about people demanding at the last minute to cancel and reschedule an MRI scan, thereby wasting £150 of scanner and staff time, because there was a time limited £10 off offer at the local nail bar. These anecdotes may well be exaggerations even if they aren't completely fabricated, but there has definitely been a change in the last 5 years or so. People are asking for much, much more when it is not appropriate.

 

One of the things that has driven a lot of colleagues to distraction, is that their specialist clinics are filled with people with very minor problems, that even a barely competent GP could easily deal with; but the GP doesn't want the earache, so makes the specialist referral; the waiting lists get longer, the cost is higher, and nothing of benefit has been achieved. It doesn't just stop there.

So, now you have the person with occasional simple tension headaches, which are easily diagnosed by someone vaguely competent, who should have been told to take some paracetamol when they get the headaches, and reduce caffeine intake, are now getting a 30 minute consultation with a neurologist (a speciality with a severe staff shortage). Then they turn up demand a scan, so they get a £200 MRI scan. And then, the MRI shows up something irrelevant, but undiagnosable, so now they're stuck having 6 monthly MRI scans "just to be absolutely sure that it isn't a slow growing tumour".

50% Id guess.

 

There needs to a be a fixed chargee of ~£20 for a GO consulation.

Not too high so people are put off, not too low you get the same people in day after day.

 

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On 11/28/2016 at 9:12 AM, thombleached said:

Ta muchly.

 

Not much to say on that. I could start a diatribe about how it isn't fair that I have to pay twice, when 88% of prescriptions are doled out without even having to contribute via income tax, but I guess that's life

I suppose the logic of free prescriptions is that if it prevents a more serious illness then it is nearly always worth it to the NHS. You can buy an awful lot of blood pressure tablets for the same cost of treating one stroke victim left with a permanent disability.

Personally I believe that there should be a fee for prescriptions and initial consultation s with GPS even if the amount is only nominal for the very poorest. That way people get to understand that medical treatment costs real money.

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On 28/11/2016 at 9:17 AM, gilf said:

Well to be fair I suspect a massive percentage of that 88% will be pensioners, who may well have paid plenty in to the system at one point or another. My father for example is on all sorts of stuff (the more you get the more additional stuff you need for the side effects) but he has paid plenty in to the system having been in continuous employment since he left school at 16.

Not getting at you, but I hate the phrase "paid plenty into the system" , it is often used by people who have paid £3k income tax PA for the last 20 years (i.e. £60k)  when many pay more that in 1 year.

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On 28/11/2016 at 9:57 AM, Bossybabe said:

 I do know that the pharmacy next to where I work has recently outraged patients on benefits by demanding proof of benefit. If patients are unable to show proof, they're charging. I'm outraged to think that they weren't seeing proof before.

If someone presents a prescription at a pharmacy and doesn't have proof of exemption, the pharmacy do not charge the patient. They simply put a cross on the back of the prescription to say that they haven't seen the exemption. It's up to the pricing bureau (or whatever it is called now) to check out whether the patient should pay. They can either demand payment, or issue a fine for a false declaration.

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20 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Not getting at you, but I hate the phrase "paid plenty into the system" , it is often used by people who have paid £3k income tax PA for the last 20 years (i.e. £60k)  when many pay more that in 1 year.

Simple solution to that problem.

Just pay everyone as much money in wages as you.

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