The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that prescriptions for patients with diabetes will now be free, following a reducing in cost to £3 per item last year . Prescriptions are already free in Wales and are gradually being phased out in Scotland, leaving Northern Ireland behind the curve when it comes to free healthcare .
Diabetes BenefitsDiabetes and Prescriptions
In England, patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes are given free prescriptions. However, this does not apply to those without, who have to pay 7.20 pounds for each prescribed item, with money-saving discounts from prepayment certificates.
The Health Minister for Northern Ireland, Michael McGimpsey, reportedly commented: “I believe that charging people for vital medication is totally against the principles of a health service that is free at the point of use. Prescription charges have been called a tax on illness. The fact is that within our community there are ill people who do not have enough money to pay for their prescriptions. They are being forced to choose between their medicine and food, which is totally unacceptable.

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