Page last updated at 05:39 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 06:39 UK

Prescription costs scrapped in Northern Ireland

Prescription pad
Wales has already abolished prescription charges

People in Northern Ireland no longer have to pay for their medical prescriptions.

The move, which was announced in September 2008, comes into effect from 1 April.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said it marked "the end of a tax on illness".

"I believe that charging people for vital medication is totally against the principles of a health service that is free at the point of use," he said.

"The cost of abolishing prescription charges will be accommodated from within my existing budget. No existing services will be affected by this decision."

Charging for prescriptions has already been abolished in Wales and is being phased out of the Scottish health system.

England has abolished charges for cancer patients.



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SEE ALSO
NI to scrap prescription charges
29 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland
Reaction to free NI prescriptions
29 Sep 08 |  Northern Ireland
Brown in free prescriptions vow
23 Sep 08 |  Health
Prescription charges end in Wales
01 Apr 07 |  Wales
Staged end to prescription charge
05 Dec 07 |  Scotland

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