Oneroa and Ostend Pharmacies owner Judy Turnbull welcomes the initiative and says it will make a big difference to those who fill several prescriptions at a time. Photo Silvia Massa

Patients will no longer have to pay a $5 prescription co-payment after the current government removed the fee in 2023’s budget. However, the change might not be permanent as the National Party has said it would reinstate the fee if elected this year.

“Being a pharmacist on the frontline, I think it will be helpful, especially for people who find it quite hard to get their prescription. Some of them buy many items so this change will make a big difference,” says Judy Turnbull, owner of the Oneroa and Ostend Pharmacies.

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said this change would “ease household budgets while relieving pressures on hospitals”. About 135,000 adults did not collect their prescriptions because of cost in 2021-22,  she said.

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