Pensioners' free check-ups hint

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The Independent Online
Pensioners' free check-ups hint

The Treasury was last night believed to be behind renewed reports that free eye and dental check-ups may be restored for pensioners in return for introducing prescription charges for well-off pensioners. The Treasury and the Department of Health are engaged in a battle over the extent of the charges to be introduced in the fundamental review of spending ordered by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown. There are signs the Health Department will concede the case for charging well-off pensioners for prescriptions. To avoid means testing, they will be asked to voluntarily tick a box on the prescription form to show they are eligible to pay. But senior Whitehall sources last night said it was far from clear that free dental check-ups would be restored for pensioners. Colin Brown

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