HC Deb 10 March 2004 vol 418 cc1601-2W
John Mann

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend free(a) prescriptions and (b) dental care to students undertaking an apprenticeship. [159461]

Ms Rosie Winterton

Free national health service prescriptions are available to everyone under 16. Free NHS dental treatment is available to everyone under 18. Free NHS prescriptions and free NHS dental treatment are available to everyone up to their nineteenth birthday if they are in full-time education. People who have children, or who are disabled and have low earnings may receive tax credits and a tax credit exemption certificate entitling them to free NHS prescriptions and free NHS dental treatment automatically. Otherwise, anyone can apply for help with their health costs through the NHS low income scheme. The extent of any help is based on a comparison between the claimant's weekly income and requirements at the date the claim is received. We have no plans to change the current arrangements.

Patients who need frequent prescriptions may benefit from purchasing a prescription prepayment certificate.

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