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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Patients pay English drug charges
Doctor writing out a prescription
Cheaper prescriptions are available in Wales
Villagers in Monmouthshire are angry they have to pay a 6.65 prescription fee rather than the 3 charge in Wales because their doctor is in England.

Some residents in Grosmont are registered with a surgery in Ewyas Harold in nearby Herefordshire.

Prescriptions in Wales were cut to 3 on 1 April, but patients registered in England have to pay the English fee.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said they were "addressing the issue".

Campaigners in Grosmont have written to the Welsh health minister Brian Gibbons about what they claim is an unfair disadvantage on prescription charges.

Health provision is devolved from UK government control to the control of the Welsh Assembly Government.

We live in Wales, we are proud to be Welsh but we are being penalised
Cllr Bob Wilcox

Prescription costs in Wales were frozen in 2001 and it is the assembly government's policy to make them free by 2007.

But only prescriptions from doctors registered with Welsh health boards are eligible for reduced charges.

Councillor Bob Wilcox said villagers felt they were being penalised.

"We could register with a Welsh practice in Abergavenny or Monmouth but that is 12 or 13 miles away - the one we are with is only down the road," he said.

"We live in Wales, we are proud to be Welsh but we are being penalised.

"Next year in Wales prescriptions are going to be free so this really needs to be looked at."

Mr Wilcox said he had received lots of complaints from local people and had written to Dr Gibbons "in the hope that he will relent".

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government said they were aware of the villagers' problem

"We are actively addressing the issue. Work on this will include amending legislation and we hope to make an announcement on the way forward as soon as possible."




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