Medical Exemption

I found a letter last night – I was sorting through some mail – from the NHS, which told me that I needed to renew my medical exemption certificate. (Having such a certificate means my prescriptions are redeemable at no further cost to me – I don’t use the word “free” because, of course, I have already paid thousands in taxes.)

But it is interesting. Once upon a time, people either got these subsidised prescriptions or they didn’t. If they tried to get subsidised prescriptions without entitlement, then presumably they are guilty of fraud. But you bring this certificate into the equation, and it becomes central. So not having the certificate becomes the salient point, not someone’s entitlement to the exemption.

I noticed the same thing several years ago, when the photocard portion of my driving license arbitrarily expired – I was still entitled to drive afterwards.

Another weird one was that they told me that I had to fill out a paper form, but I searched and couldn’t find this form online. My particular disability means that I can’t use my writing hand any more, so it is far easier to type something than it is to write. The reason it is “weird” is because, especially with a medical exemption certificate, you’d think it would attract a disproportionate number of disabled applicants. You’d think they, of all people, would have an eye on accessibility.

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

One thought on “Medical Exemption”

  1. On this last point, the NHS confirmed to me that they don't put the form online because it is \”controlled\”. Quite how you control a piece of paper is beyond me. Bear in mind that ultimately this form needs to be signed by a doctor, so you'd think *that's* the point where control comes in. So anyway, I will think about scanning it, typing it, then printing it out for the doctor to countersign.


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