HC Deb 29 October 1957 vol 575 cc9-10
22. Dr. J. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has concluded his discussions with representatives of the medical profession in Scotland on a comprehensive list of multiple pack prescriptions for the treatment of various diseases; if he will state what these packs are; and if he will give an assurance that the prescription charge for a complete pack is 1s. only.

Mr. J. N. Browne

Discussions with the medical profession for additional multiple packs to which only the shilling prescription charge should apply are proceeding on a Great Britain basis and are not yet complete.

Dr. Mabon

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that this is causing a great deal of hardship to many people, and that it is now almost ten months since the additional prescription charge was introduced? The Department of Health ought really to get a move on to try to get this hardship removed.

Mr. Browne

We hope soon to have a pack for such conditions as boils, carbuncles and ulcers. We are still working on packs for diabetic, colostomy and T.B. patients, but I must confess that we are finding it difficult to devise one pack suitable for the varied needs of different patients.

Mr. Woodburn

Would it not save a great deal of the time of medical people if the Government abolished this prescription charge altogether? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, according to the Press, the latest complaint is that when people get eye drops they must on every occasion buy a new eye-dropper and pay a shilling each time for it? Surely, all this nonsense should be abolished.

Mr. Browne

I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman, but I can assure him that all these minor difficulties are under review.