The Conservative Party will scrap free prescriptions for all in Wales if it gains power in the assembly.
The party says those who can afford it should pay a modest charge in view of the huge financial pressures on the Welsh NHS.
Free prescriptions were rolled out in Wales two years ago. Conservative health spokesman Andrew RT Davies said: ‘Everyone in Wales knows that because of Labour’s debt crisis, our public services are under massive pressure.
So it’s only fair that to protect those who really need help and to improve services that have been allowed to decline under Labour, we ask those who can afford it to make a contribution.’
He added the same people who were eligible for free prescriptions prior to the universal policy would qualify, as would cancer patients.
However, in a statement the assembly government said: ‘GPs use their discretion in determining what medication is prescribed based on the patient’s clinical needs to avoid the risk of people trying to abuse free prescriptions.
‘Free prescriptions are a long-term investment in improving health. If people aren’t put off seeking the appropriate care, due to financial reasons, their health will improve.’
Should free prescriptions be abolished?