John Healey MP has welcomed a debate on Government proposals to end free prescriptions for people over 60.

Currently, prescriptions are free for people aged over 60 in England, but the Department for Health and Social Care set up a consultation two years ago on the idea to scrap free NHS prescriptions in England for those aged between 60 and 65.

The Government is consulting on aligning the upper age exemption for NHS prescription charges with the State Pension age (SPA), which would render many people in their 60s ineligible.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP has previously written to the Health Secretary urging the Government to reconsider its approach with over 600 people also signing John’s online petition on the issue.

John Healey MP said: “Over 49,000 people aged 60-65 across Rotherham and Barnsley would face having to pay £9.35 per-item cost for medicines prescribed by their GP if this change came into force.

“As the cost of living crisis continues to worsen, the Government must consider what more it can do to support people with these essential costs. No one should be forced to choose between paying for their prescription and putting their health or even their life at risk.

“The worry that this additional cost could still come into force lays heavy on the minds of 60-65 year olds both locally and across the country.”

John will attend a debate on the plans in Westminster Hall today (6th March 2023)

Prescriptions are free for all patients living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, the cost of a single prescription has risen by 30% since 2010 to £9.35.

Nationally an estimated 2.4 million people over 60 would lose out on the right to free prescriptions.

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