FREE prescriptions will help the poorest people in the Lothians, a former city GP has said.
Lothians MSP Ian McKee said it reaffirmed the NHS ethos of being "free at the point of need".
This is despite criticism that the move to scrap prescription charges wasn't affordable and not a priority for the health service in Scotland in this economic climate.
Mr McKee said: "I believe in a health service free at the point of need. Of course it has to be paid for but we do that through our taxes, according to our means - not our illness.
"When I was practising in Wester Hailes it wasn't uncommon to see people unable to get treatment because they couldn't afford to pay. Is this the kind of society we want?
"Charging can easily prove to be a very false economy; it makes no sense and is a disgrace to society."