Trump slams Britain’s health service; UK hits back
The US President hit out on Twitter on Monday, minutes after a segment aired on Fox News that highlighted winter strains on the UK health care systemUpdated: Feb 06, 2018 09:15 IST
US President Donald Trump has attacked Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), claiming it is “going broke and not working.”
The US President hit out on Twitter on Monday, minutes after a segment aired on Fox News that highlighted winter strains on the UK health care system, CNN reported.
Trump accused the Democrats of pushing a similar universal health care system for the US.
“The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks,” Trump wrote.
Trump drew swift condemnation from Britain’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has been under fire for the government’s handling of a winter health crisis that prompted a protest march in London at the weekend.
Tweeting back at the President, Hunt said he was “proud” of Britain’s universal coverage, which allows patients free health care at the point of access.
“I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28m people have no cover,” he tweeted, referring to the 28 million people in the US who lack health insurance.
“NHS may have challenges but I’m proud to be from the country that invented universal coverage -- where all get care no matter the size of their bank balance.”
Asked about Trump’s comments, a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “proud” of Britain’s health care system.
“The prime minister is proud of having an NHS that is free at the point of delivery,” the spokesperson said, adding that NHS funding is “at a record high” and was prioritized in the fall budget with an extra 2.8 billion pounds (about $3.9 billion).
Trump, whose relationship with Britain and May has been punctuated by Twitter tussles, was also criticised by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it,” Corbyn said, using a colloquialism for the Conservative Party. “Health care is a human right.”
NHS funding is one of the most hotly contested topics in British politics and Trump’s comments highlight a sensitive subject in the UK -- how to maintain universal access to health care at a time of rising costs and demand.