Lancaster teacher sets up asthma petition

Yasmin Selant, from Lancaster.
Yasmin Selant, from Lancaster.

A Lancaster teacher has set up a petition to exempt asthma sufferers from paying prescription charges.

Yasmin Selant’s petition to end prescription charges on inhalers has received more than 2,000 signatures.

People should not have to pay to breathe

Yasmin Selant

The 22-year-old, who has asthma set up the petition to eradicate the “unfair system” and said “people should not have to pay to breathe.”

Yasmin, who teaches at Ridge Community Primary School, said: “Asthma can be very dangerous, I have known people who have died from asthma attacks.

“There has often been occasions where I have had to attend hospital or had a sever asthma attack due to not being able to afford an inhaler.

“All my family have suffered with asthma and my brother’s friend in high school passed away because of an attack. I understand the NHS are struggling with money but I don’t think it is a valid reason not to have them free.

“If you have asthma from a young age, a long lasting condition, you shouldn’t have to pay for prescriptions. It is a matter between life and death.”

Asthma UK states that there are 5.4m people living with asthma in the UK, meaning asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households and in 2014 1216 people died from asthma.

The current prescription charge in the NHS is priced at £8.10 per item. Diabetics currently get their prescriptions free and Yasmin states this should be the case for long-term asthma sufferers too. Yasmin needs 10,000 signatures to gain a response from the government and 100,000 signatures for it to be considered for debate in parliament.

However the petition has received a mixed response.

Paul Makin commented on Facebook: “The problem is where do you stop? If it’s inhalers, why not other medication that is vital that is currently paid for on prescription? Prescriptions are already free to those who are on low incomes.”

Donna Bennett said: “Reading the petition I see the lady ended up in hospital due to not being able to afford her inhalers,I’m sorry but if your condition was that bad surely you would prioritise buying them?”

Jason Caton said: “I completely agree, I find it ridiculous that asthmatics, like myself, have to pay for medication for something we have no control over, it’s not like we chose to have it.”

Judith Wilson said: “I think anyone with a long term health condition requiring medication should get their prescription for free.” Yasmin has thanked those who have supported her and hopes to gain more signatures before the August 29 deadline. The petition is at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/123104.