Department of Health increases prescription and dental charges

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Department of Health increases prescription and dental charges

The Department of Health announced a hike in NHS charges and voucher values in England from 1 April 2016, in parliament today.

The charge on prescriptions will increase by 20 pence from £8.20 to £8.40 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. 90% of prescription items are dispensed free, and this will remain the case.

The Department for Health issued a written ministerial statement, meaning that MPs could not respond in Parliament.

However, the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) has been frozen for another year.

The 3 month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104.

Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.

Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased by an overall 1.7%.

Meanwhile, the cost of optical voucher values will rise by an overall 1%.

The Department of Health said: "In the 2015 Spending Review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020 to 2021 to fund frontline NHS services.

"Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings because we must make the best use of NHS resources."

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour's Shadow Public Health Minister said: "These increases are a kick in the teeth for patients.

"Prescription charges and dental fees can really build up and impose a considerable cost, particularly at a time when family budgets are being squeezed.

"The truth is Tory Ministers are increasing these charges because they've lost control of NHS finances. Hospitals are forecasting huge deficits and spending on agency staff has gone through the roof.

"Patients shouldn't have to pay the price for this Government's financial mismanagement of the NHS."

 

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