Gil Paterson MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie has highlighted calculations from The Scottish Parliament Information Centre showing that Scottish taxpayers are saving an average of over £160 a year on their prescriptions compared to patients south of the border.
On average, Scots take out 19 prescriptions per year. If these were charged at the English rate of £8.60 each, people in Scotland would be out of pocket by an average of £1,143.80 since prescription charges were abolished in 2011.
Commenting, Mr Paterson said:
“People who are unfortunate enough to suffer ill health and those who have long-term conditions requiring medication should not have the added stress of worrying about how to pay for the medication they need.
“There is little point in GPs, consultants, dentists and all the other health professionals caring for the people who need their help if those people cannot then afford to take the medication prescribed. It makes sense for healthcare free at the point of need to include prescriptions.
“£160 is a substantial amount of money for people who may be struggling to get by and when you also take account of ending parking charges at NHS-run hospital car parks, free eye tests, free school meals for P1 to P3, care for the elderly and free bus passes for the elderly, free university education and investment in childcare, it all adds up.
“The Tories at Westminster are intent on inflicting their austerity agenda while the Scottish Government are getting on with delivering services for all of the people of Scotland.”