CREDIT: This story was first seen in iNews
Theresa May was embroiled in a fresh diplomatic clash with Donald Trump after he claimed the National Health Service was “going broke and not working”, iNews reports.
The president’s attack on the UK healthcare system came just ten days after he and Theresa May appeared to repair their strained relationship at a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In strongly-worded responses, Mrs May spoke of her pride in the NHS, while health secretary Jeremy Hunt said no one wanted a US-style system of patient care.
The transatlantic row blew up as Mr Trump spoke out in support of his plans to repeal health care reforms championed by Barack Obama.
He cited huge protests in London at the weekend as evidence that universal health systems did not work.
He tweeted: “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!”
Leading doctors dismissed Trump’s claim. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Nobody was marching in protest against the NHS. If people are marching, it is because they value and want to protect the founding principles of our remarkable health service that delivers care, free at the point of need to anyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay.
“President Trump is lucky in that he can afford the best health care available. But there are millions of patients who can’t and I for one am proud to work within a health system that doesn’t simply cast the poor and vulnerable aside.”
Professor Stokes-Lampard said although the NHS is facing “intense resource and workforce challenges”, it is still “one of the most cost-effective health systems in the world”.
She said: “The answer is not to commercialise healthcare, it is to ensure the NHS has enough resources to meet growing patient demand, underpinned by a strong general practice service that alleviates pressures elsewhere in the system, where care is more expensive.”
Mr Hunt retorted: “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.”
Mrs May’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is proud of having an NHS free at the point of delivery. NHS funding is at a record high and was prioritised in the budget with an extra £2.8bn. “In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time.”