That's hardly the end of civilisation Bernie. A woman who qualifies for free prescriptions is using the service available to her. She has a valid condition, and it will take a bit of GP time. During the time, the GP can advise the patient properly on the condition (athletes' foot is a bugger to get rid of - you need to continue using the medication for quite a while, even when symptoms 'appear' to have gone). Also, the GP can make the most of the time and ensure his patient is OK in other general health terms.
I do get the feeling reading some of the posts here that some over-resent 'users' and exploiters of systems. Are you working for Putin? Trying to sew little conspiracy theories into tiny British heads? Don't we all want to see an unexploited system? A few disparate glitches doesn't mean our NHS is endemically corrupted. It's hardly going to bring the system down. Meanwhile we simply need to continually ensure the NHS is exploited as little as possible and have faith in a system doing a lot of good. (Let's try to cut down on some of the meds though.) And then continue to target real corruption when / where it occurs - because yes, there is a large amount of it around these days (because we are finally becoming much better at detecting it?).
I was watching a news program about a week ago, they were comparing health systems in Europe - doing a kind of mix and match. One doctor pointed out, it doesn't work that way. Each country's health system grows organically and their population and system is developed for it to work efficiently for them. It does not necessarily hold true that importing bits of their system would work for us (of course it also doesn't mean that we shouldn't consider other countries' ideas). It was a good point. Basically our system is deservedly all ours, adapting from genuine forces requiring specific changes - and we really don't do too badly. Yes, it's free, and it's free because of spreading the cost through taxes. Lovely. Let's do everything we can to improve the NHS so that good people like GivingItThought (21) can continue taking her son to the GP and not have to worry about bureaucratic details.
Or, is something desperately wrong with our capitaliast economy that we can no longer support the NHS leviathan? No, last time I looked around London the wealthy look even wealthier. The wealth is still increasingly there. You should see all the lavish parties behind the City walls. There is much more champagne splashed around London than fungal cream.
Every system is going to have a few loop holes. Maybe for Bernie's example pharmacists should be given more powers to prescribe to users who qualify for free medication to get a limited (non-abusive / safer) range of items. [But I don't think this would work now . . . ] Unfortunately, now there is a sharp decline in really good pharmacists which have responsible / fully trained pharmacists. That is a serious concern. Boots for instance - who owns them now? [Has Britain been raped by an American corporation again? And why did we sit back and watch it happen?] Is Boots' service as good as it was 50 years ago?
Pharmacists were an intrinisic part of the health system, now they seem to be becoming more part of the capitalist system. IE (woops, sorry, Boots again): Boots do good deals on sandwiches and sugary drinks and give a free bag of crisps - perfect!!! (God, I hate crisps, the smell, the sound and the desperately small portions. Every time I get on a National Express bus, the bus revs up and instantly everbyody opens their cheap shit plastic bag of crisps - the bus is instantly contaminated with a farty smell) . . . . you get great £5 coupons on Revlon etc whenever you go there. I'm saving all mine so that when I get to the age of sixty I can buy a lifetime supply of eyeliner and stay young and beautiful*. Who is the audience for a Boots commercial? Next time you see one of their commercials have a look at what they are selling and consider who the target audience is. Pharmacists . . .
* - lie: I don't shop there.