Free medicine is the hot topic amongst parents this week!
'Why on earth weren't we told about this sooner?'
'I could have saved myself a small fortune!'
'I am definitely going to take advantage of this, why wouldn't I if it is free?'
I have heard comments like this left, right and centre today. Social media sharing has gone into overload to spread the word about this amazing 'not so new' freebie. Understandably your initial reaction will probably be, 'Fantastic! I just wish I had known sooner, it could have saved me a fortune!'
But after your initial euphoria, common sense starts to kick in and you do the sums in your head. Your average small bottle of calpol costs over £3. Hopefully, a few years after having kids you may have, like me, cottoned onto the fact that there is no law stating that your children must have calpol and you have discovered that shops own brands do just the same job for a much lower price! Nevertheless, whichever brand you use, you must have bought a pretty large number of bottles totting up quite a large sum of money. Add things like teething, nappy rash, coughs, diarrhea and threadworm into the equation and you have shelled out a pretty hefty sum of money on medication.
(I bet the word threadworm is still stuck in your mind now right? Yes I know none of us like the thought of this one but fact, children do play in the mud and then put their fingers in their mouth so if you haven't yet had the pleasure of a dose, it is only a matter of time!)
Now, just think if you hadn't had to pay for all of this. Who would pay for it? The NHS that is who, an NHS who is already stretched as it is. And if they were paying for this medicine for you, they would be paying for it for thousands and thousands of others as well. Surely this money would be much better spent on vital medicine that isn't so readily available, one that heaven forbid your child may need in the future. One of my sons had liver disease as a baby and we had amazing care and medication given to us by the NHS. What if care like this isn't available in the future because funds have been run dry by people freeloading?
I'm sure that it won't come to that. I'm sure that someone will have the common sense to implement something like the maternity exemption card so that people who really do struggle can readily make use of this scheme without it being abused. Maybe a policy for this is being written up as we speak............
I hope that this information going public has made someone's life that little bit easier now. Someone who does struggle to buy medicine for their children as there will be people out there who do need this help. But to the majority of us, if we are really honest with ourselves, we have managed to afford to buy the medicine up until now so we probably should continue to do so in the future. Let's leave this great scheme to the people who genuinely do need it.