Prescription Charges

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Health and Well-being – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 7th June 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

. Margo MacDonald (Lothians) (Ind): To ask the Scottish Executive whether it plans to abolish prescription charges. (S3O-168)

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

We remain committed to our manifesto pledge to phase out prescription charges and are currently considering options for delivering that goal.

Photo of Margo MacDonald Margo MacDonald Independent

I thank the minister for her response, and I hope that this will be the first of many pleasant exchanges.

Although I appreciate that the Scottish National Party is committed to phasing out these charges, what is its timescale for doing so? I also make a special plea that, when the matter is reviewed, particular attention be paid to the position of people with long-term ailments. Asthma sufferers, for example, have to pay over the long term for essential medication and medicinal equipment. Indeed, I could go through a full list of similar examples with which the minister is no doubt familiar.

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

I acknowledge the campaign that the member has carried out on this issue and the work that she has done with groups of people with long-term limiting illnesses. Part of our manifesto commitment was the immediate abolition of charges for people with chronic conditions, and we are currently considering options for how best to take that forward. However, she can be assured that we will be as inclusive as possible. As far as the timescale is concerned, we hope to be in a position to introduce changes around April 2008.