Medical & Prescription Charges

When I go to the doctor in Ireland under their health service I pay €50 per visit. When I get a prescription I pay for the drugs up to €120 per month. People on benefits have a medical card that gives them free services for GPs and a prescription charge of €2.50 per item. Back on the Island I don't have to pay. Why not if I can afford to?

Why the contribution is important

How much is spent on GP services every year? How much would be recovered if even a modest charge were to be made? How much is spent on prescription drugs every year? How much would be recovered if say a £5.00 charge was incurred per item? Your staff should have the figures. It requires a degree of political drive - but the impact can be managed by having lower charges for those on benefits (I'd suggest some charge as paid for services are better valued than free ones).

by dpfellows on April 05, 2017 at 05:50PM

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  • Posted by dduke April 05, 2017 at 19:46

    Paying for a doctors visit would defeat the object of a NHS being free at point of delivery there are some sounds points in this post though. Prescription charges are way too low for a health service under financial pressure. There should be an immediate and substantial increase along with the usual safeguards to protect the elderly and vulnerable. Missed appointments without a reasonable excuse should be subject to a charge. All prescriptions for everyday over the counter medicine should be stopped. These are just a few ideas to save money for an under pressure system. But the bottom line if if we want a decent and safe NHS we have to pay for it.
  • Posted by taffycox April 05, 2017 at 20:31

    It was recently reported that only 1 in 10 prescriptions dispensed on the Island is paid for at the point of delivery.
    Upon enquiry, I was advised that Government has no real idea whether this ratio is actually "correct" since the criteria relied upon is actually taken from UK (NHS England) research, and applied to the Isle of Man.
    In the UK 11.5% of prescriptions are issued free on account of low income claimants. Given that the rate of unemployment here is somewhat less , one might reasonably assume that a smaller percentage would be eligible here.
    Additionally, (aparently) some £237 MILLION worth of prescriptions were wrongly issued free of charge last year in England, so, if we are to apply English statistics here, I conservatively estimate that some £300,000 worth of prescriptions were similarly issued here.
  • Posted by brockley April 05, 2017 at 23:50

    How do UK figures apply to the island exactly? The National Health Service was set up in 1948. It's philosophy was that good healthcare should be available to all regardless of wealth. A great moment. The island bought into this principal.

    maybe the time has come to change this. Good healthcare should be available and proportionate to wealth? Unlike benefits, essential healthcare isn't paid out in cash. If someone is prescribed essential medication, it should be paid for proportionately to wealth rather than 'regardless' of it.
  • Posted by GAC April 06, 2017 at 14:23

    I pay for my Prescriptions and if my child has had a fever I have purchased Medicine from Pharmacy.
    Unfortunately we have created a mentality with people who have free entitlement to prescriptions that they use a doctors appointment to get a bottle of Calpol or headache tablets rather than buy.

    Said purchases £ 3-4, yet instead we fund appointments then a prescription.
  • Posted by ninjadispenser April 08, 2017 at 14:27

    I know someone from Ireland who pays to see the Doctor and they say it makes people wait too long to go or they simply don't go until the condition is so advanced that they need Hospital admission.
    Agree increase in prescription charge and why don't we know what the ratio of pay to exempt is? I work in a Pharmacy and we count both types of prescription and number of items on a daily basis.These figures could be made available to the Government and they would know instantly what the ratio was without need for the English info.
    Agree entirely that there is an element of society who would waste an appointment to get bottle of Calpol just to avoid payment and this needs stopping.Also Dentists charge for missed appointments so why not Surgeries unless notice given or repeat 'offenders' warned first then charged next time.
  • Posted by Buster May 04, 2017 at 13:36

    1. That on a prescription the cost of the medication is printed on the label that the chemists print and apply to the medication.
    This will not directly save money, but when people realise the cost they may use them fully.
    2. That means testing apply to obtain free sricpts.
  • Posted by ninjadispenser May 06, 2017 at 17:38

    Some people would be quite proud if their medication was very expensive,especially if they are exempt from payment,and ,in the age of 'entitlement' it seems appealing to the conscience is not as effective as it used to be, However,some elderly people would feel guilty about the cost and,as it would not directly reduce costs unless they told their Doctor they didn't want to take it any more,seems like a pointless exercise.Oh and if by chance the medicine cost less than the prescription charge,all hell would break loose and I and other Pharmacy staff are not paid enough to suffer the ensuing abuse and accusations of profiteering that would inevitably follow.
    Prescribe less medication,Pharmacies,check with the patient what they are ordering and picking up and review the exemption categories as a matter of urgency. But first,increase the prescription charge to £4.50 per item,which would still be half of what England's is at present!
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