§ Mr. Hannam
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the eligibility requirements for gaining exemption from prescription charges; and which disabilities satisfy the requirements.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Exemption from prescription charges is available to people in the following categories. The list includes those medical conditions which confer entitlement to exemption.
- 1.Children under 16.
- 2.Men aged 65 or over and women aged 60 or over.
- 3.Pregnant women or women who have had a baby within the preceding 12 months.
- 4.people who get Supplementary Benefit, Family Income Supplement or Housing Benefit Supplement, their partners and dependants.
- 5.War or service pensioners (for items for their accepted disablement only).
- 6.People who qualify on low income grounds, their partners and dependants.
- 7.People who have—
- (i) a permanent fistula (including caecostomy, colostomy, laryngostomy or ileostomy) requiring continuous surgical dressing or an applicance;
- (ii) one of the following disorders for which specific substitution therapy is essential:
- Addison's disease and other forms of hypoadrenalism,
- diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism,
- diabetes mellitus,
- myasthenia gravis,
- (iii) epilepsy requiring continuous anti-convulsive therapy;
- (iv) a continuing physical disability which prevents the patient from leaving his residence without the help of another person.