Brown fulfils convention speech promise

By staff

People being treated for cancer in England can apply for free prescriptions from today, as Gordon Brown fulfils one of the promises he made during his conference speech.

Mr Brown announced the changes last September during the Labour party conference, along with a promise for the fees to be abolished by April 1st.

A statement released by the Department of Health claims up to 150,000 patients already diagnosed with cancer are expected to benefit from the new scheme, and may save £100 each year in prescription charges.

From today, all cancer patients are entitled to apply for a five-year exemption certificate, which will entitled them to all their NHS prescriptions free of charge.

The certificate can then be resumed as many times as necessary.

Public health minister, Dawn Primarolo said in the statement: “This new scheme gives people living with cancer one less worry at such a difficult time.

“Everyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment is entitled to free prescriptions from April 1st. I would urge patients to make an appointment with their GP from this week to talk about applying for their exemption certificate.”

Application forms can be collected from GP surgeries and oncology clinics from today and must be countersigned by the patient’s GP, hospital doctor or service doctor.