HC Deb 17 February 1964 vol 689 cc839-40
28. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state the amount of refunds of prescription charges in Scotland for the years 1962 and 1963.

Mrs, Thatcher

£226,000 and £251,000, respectively.

Mr. Gourlay

Does the hon. Lady not recognise that this is a considerable increase from 1959 when the total amount in Scotland was about £70,000? Do not those figures clearly indicate that a considerable amount of unnecessary form filling and clerical work are proceeding in her right hon. Friend's office? Could this not be eliminated by providing some means of identification for retirement pensioners and chronic sick sufferers so that they can have their prescriptions free of charge at the chemists instead of going through the paraphernalia of reclaiming the money?

Mrs. Thatcher

That is a question which ought to be referred to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. The figures for refunds of prescription charges show that the people who need them get them.

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