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Phoneline to aid patients without cost

A NEW freephone number for NHS 24 will help protect the "founding principles" of the health service, the Scottish Government has claimed.

The medical advice line — which people can call for help when their GP surgery is closed — has changed its number to 111. The new number is free to call from both landline and mobile phones.

Health Secretary Alex Neil welcomed the change, saying: "I strongly believe that our NHS should be free at the point of care for all and this new number will help to protect these founding principles of the NHS."

A total of 1.5 million calls a year are made to NHS 24, with the service receiving up to 8,000 calls a day.

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