Wales is heavily subsidised financially by England via the Barnett Formula. On 1st April 2007, prescription charges in Wales will be dropped. It doesn't matter if you're a millionaire. You won't pay a penny. In England, on the same day, prescription charges will be raised. This despite concerns from various health professionals and patient groups:
From the Daily Express:
Patient groups attacked the 20p increase, which will take the cost to £6.85 for each prescription.Ministers said the increase, which begins on April 1, would raise £425 million for the cash-strapped NHS.
But the move was criticised by Professor Jessica Corner, director of improving cancer services at Macmillan Cancer Support.
She said: “We are extremely disappointed to hear that the Government has decided to raise prescription charges in England, particularly as they are to be abolished entirely in Wales on the same day.
“Our research shows that one in seven cancer patients aged 55 and under who currently have to pay for prescriptions are unable to afford their cancer treatment.
“This news will be yet another blow to patients facing a double whammy of increased costs and a significant drop in income as a result of their cancer.”
This is health apartheid in action. And remember Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan punching the air and saying that at last the Welsh had made the English jealous? Because lives in Wales are valued more than those in England?
Morgan is a very sick man. I am not jealous - I am beside myself with rage at the RACIST INJUSTICE OF IT ALL.
More here - http://www.thecep.org.uk/news/Comments.asp?Entry=1504 - the CEP news blog article also contains a link to the original Daily Express article.
It's strange isn't it? People in England have unelected regional assemblies and no national representation, and people in Scotland and Wales have elected NATIONAL political bodies to represent them. What worries me most is that we now have a situation where people in Wales and Scotland are becoming an elite, far better treated than people in England on a whole range of issues. England needs representation as a UK nation, just like Scotland and Wales. The huge subsidies must be adjusted for a start. Lord Barnett, the man behind the Barnett Formula, has stated that it is unfair to England.
What is happening, with prescription fees, availability of cancer medications on the NHS, etc, is a form of racism levelled against every single living person in England. And yet as soon as you mention England, the politically correct crowd squawk "RACIST!"
Bad and batty logic.
And a very dubious UK Government - which has a massively disproportionate number of Scots and Welsh MPs, some of them unaccountable to the electorate in England, in its upper echelons. Are our rulers Little Scotlanders and Waleans?
Just think, when Gordon Brown is PM he won't be accountable to us. Nor will a lot of legislation passed by his government have any impact on his devolved constituents in Scotland.
That's 21st Century democracy, that is!
This blog is supportive of the aims of the Campaign for an English Parliament, but is in no way connected.