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Beware of hypocrisy in our health care policies

In every analysis of the cuts and the affordability of some of the projects introduced by the Executive, everyone seems to latch onto free prescriptions.

In reality, the £15m currently being spent on medicines is a very small drop in the ocean when compared to the £4bn drop in the Northern Ireland block grant.

Yet in these cheap and simplistic accounts, none of the commentators that attack free prescriptions seem to mention the former injustices, when there was an increasing tax on 'treatment'.

Do we forget that some cancer patients had to pay for their prescriptions while the Pill was always free? When we hear the pundits and our local politicians commit to a free health service, but yet call for a tax on treatment, they should be called what they are: hypocrites. And before everyone rushes to argue that if you can afford to pay for your medication you should, remember the same logic applies to all healthcare.

If you can afford to pay for your visit to the GP, you should, or your stay in hospital you should, or for that operation you need, you should.

The Executive wastes more money annually on junkets and entertaining than it spends on free prescriptions. If you believe in a free Health Service, you believe in free prescriptions.

If you believe in paying for your prescriptions, you clearly support charging for any and all health treatments.

Beware what you wish for.

TRAFALGAR

Millisle, Co Down

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