HC Deb 19 June 1968 vol 766 cc1103-4
55. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will exempt women in Scotland who are retired from work at 60 years of age from the payment of prescription charges.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Norman Buchan)

No, Sir.

Mr. Rankin

Is it not the case that many women are being compelled by their terms of employment to retire at 60? Men get the benefit of the Health Service at their retirement age. Should not that apply equally to women?

Mr. Buchan

This matter was debated quite recently. The criteria are based on need. If there is need, the necessary exemptions will be given.

Mr. G. Campbell:

Is the hon. Gentleman still examining the general question of exemptions, because there appear to be considerable anomalies? For example, is he satisfied about the situation concerning people suffering from serious mental illnesses who have to take expensive drugs but who, without the drugs, would still be in hospital?

Mr. Buchan

The hon. Gentleman will have to see how the matter works out. We are looking at all possibilities. As he knows, we keep all the medical services under review.

Mr. Rankin

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall endeavour to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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