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OAPs’ healthcare rights preserved

4 March 2011

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The right of older people to receive the highest quality healthcare will be safeguarded from new age discrimination legislation set to come into effect.

Age discrimination laws due to come into force will contain certain exemptions that protect the rights of OAPs.

Under the Equality Act 2010, pensioners will still be entitled to free bus passes or cheaper rates at their leisure centres, for example.

Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone said: “The government is committed to tackling harmful age discrimination. Our society is changing as people live longer, and it is important to ensure that people of all ages are treated fairly when, for example, receiving healthcare or trying to buy insurance.

“One area where age-based decisions can be justified is financial services – providers will still be permitted to make decisions and set charges based on an individual’s age, if such a policy is reasonable and based on reliable evidence about risk.

“The consultation is also very clear that there will be no specific exceptions to the ban on age discrimination for the health and social care sectors. Any use of age in decision-making within the NHS and in social care will, if challenged, need to be objectively justified.”

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