Prescription charges hiked
Medical card holders are to pay €120m out of their own pockets in unpopular prescription per item charges this year - up from €27.6m when it was first introduced in 2011.
The bad news is that the charge is here to stay. This is because the health service needs the money it generates to offset some of the savings it has to make its yearly allocation.
The Government has defended the charge, saying it was necessary to increase it in the last Budget due to the very difficult and challenging economic environment, which requires the health service to achieve additional savings in health expenditure with €619m shaved off spending in 2014
The increase in prescription charges will account for €43 million of this target. There are no plans to amend the prescription charge.
Health & Living