Changing Prescription, Dental Charges And Optical Vouchers

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From 1st April changes will be made to prescription charges and some dental treatments in England. The value of optical vouchers will also increase by an overall 2 per cent.

The prescription charge exemption for people being treated for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment also comes into force from 1st April. This new scheme will benefit up to 150,000 people already diagnosed with cancer, who might otherwise pay around ?100 a year in prescription charges.

The following changes will come into effect on 1st April:

Optical

* Optical vouchers will increase in value by an overall 2 per cent.

* Vouchers help with the cost of spectacles and contact lenses for children, people on low incomes and people with complex sight problems.

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Dental

* The maximum charge for complex NHS dental treatments, such as the fitting of crowns, bridges or dentures will be frozen at the existing rate of ?198.

* For the simplest and most common visits to the dentist, involving an examination, advice and any necessary X-rays or scale and polish, the charge will go up by 30 pence from ?16.20 to ?16.50.

* The charge for intermediate treatments such as fillings or extractions will increase by ?1 from ?44.60 to ?45.60.

Prescriptions

* Prescription charges will increase by 10 pence from ?7.10 to ?7.20

Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "In England, 89 per cent of prescription items are dispensed for free, the remainder provide valuable income to the NHS.

"From April 1 cancer patients will be eligible for free prescriptions. A review of how this exemption can also be extended to patients with long-term conditions is currently underway and recommendations will be made to me in the Summer"

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