§ Miss Richardson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why asbetosis is excluded from the list of complaints exempted from payment for National Health Service prescriptions.
§ Mr. Moyle
The list of medical conditions which qualify for automatic exemption from prescription charges is the maximum on which agreement is possible with representatives of the medical profession. However, sufferers from asbestosis who are housebound can claim exemption on the grounds of having a 779W continuing physical disability which prevents them from leaving home except with the help of another person. Exemption is also available on grounds of age or income; and where exemption cannot be claimed the prepayment certificate is available for those who need frequent prescriptions.