Call to keep scripts free

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Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has challenged the Health Minister “to give a cast iron guarantee that he will implement a long-term commitment to keeping prescriptions free of charge”.

Mr Butler said: “When the UUP abolished prescriptions charges in 2010 when the Party held the Health Minister’s post, we did so because we strongly believed that charging people for vital and life-saving medication ran contrary to the core principles of the NHS remaining free at the point of use.

“The Ulster Unionist Party is still strongly supportive of this principle and that is why I support the Keep Us Well campaign’s ask that we recognise the value of free treatment and calls for a long-term commitment to free prescriptions for people with long-term conditions.

“Those who benefit most from free prescriptions - and would lose out most should a charge be reintroduced – are those with long-term conditions, the elderly and young people.

“Free prescriptions help those people to manage their conditions, keep well for longer and remain in employment.

“The value of maintaining free prescriptions is there for all to see. It was clear from an event organised by Keep Us Well in Parliament Buildings that the initiative enjoys almost all party support.

“I hope that the DUP will give a commitment to continue to keep prescriptions free of charge beyond the next election,”