Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why should I get free prescriptions?

Regular readers of my blog will know I had a wee bit of a break at the end of last year when a mean virus knocked me for six. I haven't felt right since then and have felt particularly rubbish for the last 2.5 weeks or so. Last Friday, my GP decided to take all my blood and send it for analysis. If I ever forget in the future, please remind me that my blood is in my left arm, not my right. I remembered from when I was pregnant that one arm gave up blood easily and one stubbornly held on to it as though my life depended on it. Unfortunately I couldn't remember which and so he had to try both. What a delight that was for a state registered needlephobic coward like me!

My latent hypochondria had kicked in and I was convinced that I had something scary. I was therefore quite relieved when my GP phoned on Monday evening to tell me that I had Glandular Fever. Sure, I have to respect it and err on the side of sense for once in my life - so I will be spending Valentine's Day with my husband rather than campaigning in Dunfermline, even if I have to kiss him through clingfilm like Chuck in Pushing Daisies!

So, I thought, that was that. Then I got a phone call from the GP yesterday to say that the next lot of tests showed an underactive thyroid and I'd need to take medicine forever more. He then told me that there was a silver lining - that this would entitle me to free prescriptions forever as hypothyroidism was one of the narrow list of conditions that was given free prescription status way back in the 1960s.

To be honest, I feel a bit guilty. Why should I get free prescrptions and somebody with Cancer has to pay for them? In the end of the day, I can afford the fiver every couple of months and I feel a bit bad about taking health service resources from people with really scary, life threatening conditions.

I know that the SNP Government up here plans to remove all prescription charges eventually, but I'm sure I could find a better use for the millions that would cost. I just wonder if there isn't some more sensible solution to prescription charging. I just don't think I'm a deserving case to get free prescriptions for everything for the rest of my life when others who have much worse illnesses have to pay.

What do other people think?

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