State pensioners under 75 set to lose free prescriptions

By by Adrian Darbyshire adrian.darbyshire@iomtoday.co.im Twitter:@iomAdrian in Health

State pensioners below the age of 75 will lose the right to free prescriptions, eye tests and dental treatment under proposals unveiled today.

The public is being consulted on proposals to make the law governing how the health service works more flexible to meet current and future needs.

Changes are proposed to the contribution individuals make towards the cost of their prescriptions, sight tests and dental treatment.

Prescriptions would increase from £3.85 to £5 per item, except for those individuals who are exempt.

The contribution towards the costs of dental treatment would increase, from between £18.50 and £219 to between £20.60 and £244.30, except for those who are exempt.

Free annual eye sight tests will be available every two years rather than one, and there will be a £10 contribution towards the cost, except for those who are exempt and entitled to a voucher.

Those who would no longer be exempt from making a contribution would include people aged between state pensionable age and 75, those with specific medical conditions;and women who are pregnant or who have given birth in the past 12 months.

As with the wider public these groups would be able to cover all of their prescriptions through the purchase of an annual pre-payment certificate.

These will increase in price under the proposals from £19 to £20 for four months and £54 to £60 for 12 months

Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft said: ’There is no new money and if we want to provide services such as the pressing need to introduce a 24-hour thrombolysis service for people who suffer a stroke, then something has got to give.’

She added: ’This is not just about charging people to make up a deficit. This is about improving the service we provide.’

Mrs Beecroft said the saving would be ’£1m-plus’ but it was difficult to give a figure until it was known how many would use the pre-payment certificates.

The proposed changes also see protection of the exemption from charges for young people aged under 16 or under 19 in full-time education, those aged 75 and over, those in receipt of income support, jobseeker’s allowance, incapacity benefit, employed person’s allowance, or a war disablement pension and those in prison.

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Modern Democracy · 14 hrs ago · Report

Folks should read the very sensible post by Fell below. Meanwhile, the MHKs who voted to introduce 'pay as you go' stealth health charges are Bettinson, Callister, Corlett (who?) & Moorhouse as well as - presumably - the Minister herself

paulene tortasso · 3 days ago · Report

if your meds keep you alive and well and not a drain on health services why do i have to pay i paid 50 years into the pot and now have to keep paying.F or the people Mrs Beecroft I think not

Someone Manx · 4 days ago · Report

The government is happy to take money from struggling pensioners who paid NI and yet allow those who choose not to work (I don't mean those who CANNOT work) and claim benefits to still receive the treatments for free?? Yet again, those of us who work hard and/or suffer from chronic illness are being pressured to pay government's overspend while those who already receive a great deal of benefit don't have to contribute and the big wigs still manage to award themselves a pay rise. Genius.

Steve · 9 days ago · Report

As I said previously 5p in the £ on upper take and if necessary a 1p on the lower bracket and I am sure that would raise far more the the proposed changes, it would be a more fair option, but unfortunately no Minister is in the lower tax band and they keep what they get

Muttering Darkly · 10 days ago · Report

Now they want to take it away again without really knowing how much (if any) savings will be made. Even if they raise some cash from charges have they considered that if people don't go and get their prescriptions because of costs then they could end up in hospital being treated as emergencies. Not though through.

Muttering Darkly · 10 days ago · Report

I got free prescriptions when I was 60 and then it was taken off me when I was 62 and the rules changed so you could only get the concession when you became of pensionable age. So 2 years ago the concession was available to me again.

Steve · 10 days ago · Report

Why not add 5p to tax for everyone earning £80,000 +, I am sure that would be more and enough or is the Island just pretending not to be a "Tax Haven". It seems that the easy targets are hit every time.

Treasury Tag · 16 days ago · Report

Fell. I totally agree these reforms are not needed even the size of the impact on the aged. Radical changes to the bloated public sector is what is needed.

Fell · 16 days ago · Report

TT given that soon, in order to pay public sector pensions, £100 million + per annum will be being extracted from the operational budget that provides these services, there is a real funding issue. This is fiddling around the edges not tackling the fundamental issues.

Treasury Tag · 16 days ago · Report

CV these changes and increase are not necessary. What is necessary is a decrease in the size of the government yet not only have the number employed stayed roughly the same the public sector salary has increased. If it were a private company then massive job lossses would have been carried out. Yet the government keep that fat pays and cruelty take away from the old generation.

Fell · 16 days ago · Report

MD I would like to start with our politicians being very clear on what services, and at what level. they want to deliver combined with a proper set of projections of what that will realistically cost give our demographics. And then a proper analysis of how it will be paid for - growth, tax, cost cuts etc...

DocMills · 16 days ago · Report

Free prescriptions should only be available to those that can't afford to pay. Everyone else, *regardless of age*, should be asked to pay the (teeny tiny) prescription fee.

Peter Inglis · 16 days ago · Report

Only the IoM can go from feast to famine. At one stage people 50 and over got free prescriptions how ridiculous it should have been 65 retirement age. Now when people who retire at 65 or 68 will have to pay for prescriptions when they probably need more medical care and have less money after retirement. So, this is a caring society I don’t think so.

Modern Democracy · 16 days ago · Report

Would you accept the model of a fully integrated tax & benefits system Fell?

Fell · 16 days ago · Report

This is part of a bigger picture about the competitiveness, demographics & economics of the IOM. The previous two administrations adopted an ostrich like posture on this. I do have some hope that some of the new MHKs are beginning to question the 'model'. How far they will change has yet to be seen.

Foxy lady · 16 days ago · Report

I agree with Wendy Douglas you should look into the benefits of the so called unemployment, and All the single girls pushes prams round Douglas while checking their iPhones....it is disgusting picking on pensioners, and the vulnerable.

MK · 16 days ago · Report

I'm in the 65 to 74 bracket, so will pay the £60 a year to stave off the grim reaper, hopefully for a decade or two. Less than 17p a day - bargain, I reckon.

IOMGirlie63 · 16 days ago · Report

So if I am understanding this correctly, it won't be just pensioners? it states 'Those who would no longer be exempt from making a contribution would include people aged between state pensionable age and 75, those with specific medical conditions;and women who are pregnant or who have given birth in the past 12 months' I am Epileptic so I need medication and so have an exemption certificate, if this means that it will no longer be valid then for me it will mean missing some meals!

Wendy Douglas · 16 days ago · Report

May I suggest you look into the benefits you dish out to those who are supposedly unemployed, single parents and so on instead of taking it out on pensioners who have worked all their lives.

Spaniard · 17 days ago · Report

This is the same lady who along with all CS and politicians ,has just accepted a 2.3% pay increase which also will add to their pension pot----no money Kate?--you are now reduced to shafting pensioners in order to fatten your own purse--anyone heard from Liberal Vannin and its idealistic principals recently?

Manx Pleb · 17 days ago · Report

I trust that these 'savings' have taken into account how much the people affected continue to pay in tax and NI contributions? Or is it just the headline figure that counts? Penalising the elderly for what will essentially fund exorbitant CS pensions and lump sums and tax breaks for multi millionaires appears a little unfair.

Maria · 17 days ago · Report

Beecroft strikes again not sure how much it will save but heigh ho, just as she miscalculated amount of compensation paid out by a couple of million, this woman is a joke. Resign and let someone with half a brain sort out the health service.

Steve · 17 days ago · Report

CRAP...I thought Kate was working for us NOT against us ! !

Manx born (formerl CV) · 17 days ago · Report

Lots of NIMBY comments. Let us all save money as long as it doesn't directly affect me. Tinker around the edges all you like but a 1946 model free at the point of entry health service is no longer fit for purpose. Those claiming a rip off should remember that UK prescription charges are now £8.60p an item. MD the Health Department has previously ask for more funds before Mr Quayle was CM. I am sure the Manx Labour Party will welcome you with open arms?????

hoodlum · 17 days ago · Report

Stick a special contribution onto income tax properly ring fenced for health spending that I think would be more palatable !

Gav · 17 days ago · Report

DHSC spends less than half as much GDP as the UK does. Half. And they want to spend even less.They should have been able to do lots of private work at the new hospital, if it wasn't for its terrible reputation. Fix it, and get private work in for Bupa. And cut the high wages they are advertising, far far higher than UK.

Chris · 17 days ago · Report

Bad management in the NHS so we the people have to pay for their mistakes Lots of money for new Prom and berths for Cruise ships

Conch · 17 days ago · Report

well you know they've got to cater for all the people that are ill that live here, I mean where are the health campaigns to stop stroke happening, the healthy lifestyle, preventative measures on the island to educate people to look after themselves better. I mean you only have to look at the number of chippys on isle of man... says it all, how abt looking at that ? prevention is better than cure, there is a lot of obesity

Conch · 17 days ago · Report

we are supposed to be a relatively wealthy society,

Conch · 17 days ago · Report

There is no 'new money' - more like we have a forever ageing population, all brought about by the govt policies which make our young and fit leave - thats the real problem. Great, we'll all be working until 75 and everybody's teeth will drop out with appalling dentist provisions. they've got money for flower beds on the quay though

Tim Norton · 17 days ago · Report

The problem is not that the DSC overspends but that it is regularly underfunded. Either NI or income tax for high earners needs to be increased pay for a health service to be proud of.

JP · 17 days ago · Report

And nobody has mentioned the change to dental treatment charges and exemption statuses for the age group of 65-74...

Concerned pensioner · 17 days ago · Report

How much more are they going to squeeze out of the pensioners? Why target them and not the high earning tax capped people. It's also time our MHKs and MLCs were stopped from going on their jollies- that would save more than million!

Stevie P · 17 days ago · Report

Great to be getting old , bus pass at 64 , old age pension at 66 . The more bits that fall off you , the more you'll have to pay !! Thanks for nothing .

Foxy lady · 17 days ago · Report

It is disgusting picking on pensioners under 75 ...especially when The UK has not done it, government needs to put their heads together and get money from somewhere else....absolutely terrible decision, and I hope enough people complain about it.

Mervin · 17 days ago · Report

So a 1 million saving. Which will pay for how many top civil servants pensions. We all know how our moneys been used to top up your Ponzi pension schemes so start by cutting that & not our services.

ET · 17 days ago · Report

This is not dealing with the problem of an increasingly unaffordable health service. We are not what we think we are and cannot mimic a scaled down version of a NHS system that the UK provide and struggle themselves to contain within affordable limits. We need to start contracting out through State insurance with the private health providers within the UK. Our scale of thought processes are so shrunken to fit mini-mimicking we can no longer think straight on national matters.

Ian O · 17 days ago · Report

How can it be a free eye test if you have to pay £10 towards the cost.

Bob · 17 days ago · Report

This idea will cost me £40 per month! Why did I work for 50 yrs paying NI? Can I have my money back? Better off in prison

Clock Weights · 17 days ago · Report

Well, if the Manx Government hadn't wasted all that money giving it away to lost causes like Syria and Africa, we wouldn't be in this position!!

Modern Democracy · 17 days ago · Report

Fell is right that strategic budgeting for our NHS has to improve - but the blame has to layed at the door of our hapless Chief Minister who LegCo have put in charge of goverment. Mrs Beecroft may well have been told to fund her department herself rather than gaining any of the funds from other over subsidised departments

Jolife · 17 days ago · Report

So basically, they do this to save £1m, but will spend the money immediately on a new thrombolysis service. In effect, there is NO SAVING. Annual overspend of £11m and a complete lack of financial control.

Fell · 17 days ago · Report

My concern is the lack of realistic strategic plans and delivery for the Health Service. This saves £1 million but budget overspending is many times that. What is KBs real vision for the service and what will it cost? Fiddling around the edges does not resolve the core issues.

Middleman · 17 days ago · Report

Odd approach. If they have to raise income from prescription charges why aren't they putting up the charge to something like the £8.60 in the UK, for those that can afford it, rather than starting to charge people who may not be able to.

Steve Hamer · 17 days ago · Report

Prescriptions free in UK if aged 60 or over. Why does one have to be 15 years older in rip-off Isle of Man? Disgraceful.

Treasury Tag · 17 days ago · Report

More good news for the IOM.

Modern Democracy · 17 days ago · Report

Absolutely disgraceful! Time this fat bloated government slimmed themselves down instead of imposing a 'pay as you go' approach to living with poor health. I'll be moving my support to the Manx Labour Party if they go ahead with this

Mervin · 17 days ago · Report

And the total saving ?

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