HC Deb 25 June 1976 vol 913 cc455-6W
Mr. Lawrence

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the reasons why those who pay national health contributions, but who are receiving private medical treatment, are not allowed prescriptions under the National Health Service.

Dr. Owen

The criterion for treatment under the National Health Service is need, not the payment of national insurance contributions, which only contribute around 8 per cent. of its total cost. A doctor treating a patient under the National Health Service may prescribe drugs and appliances on the NHS as part of that treatment. A patient who opts for private treatment must obtain his drugs, as well as other forms of treatment, privately.