London: President Donald Trump attacked the United Kingdom's state-funded National Health Service (NHS), angering British politicians across party lines. Trump took to Twitter in response to television coverage of an "NHS in Crisis" march over the weekend in London, claiming it showed how the universal healthcare system offered by NHS is not working.
"The (Opposition) 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 tweeted early Monday morning.
But UK health minister Jeremy Hunt sprung to the defence of the country's much-venerated health service, highlighting that it was better than the US where millions were without any cover. "I may disagree with claims made on that march but not ONE of them wants to live in a system where 28 million people have no cover," Hunt tweeted in his reply.
"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," he added.
Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn also hit back on Twitter, saying: "People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. "Healthcare is a human right."
Speaking as his party released a new report into healthcare reform in Britain calling for a new ring-fenced tax to fund the NHS, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable also spoke out in favour of service.
"If he (Trump) wants to understand how the system works in Britain and wants some solutions he should come and read our report," he said, adding that the US leader "obviously doesn't understand it (the NHS) but I live in hope".
The issue of a funding crunch facing the UK’s NHS has been at the centre of the country’s political debates, with the government claiming a high level of investment into the service while the Opposition demanding more funds. Trump's latest comment comes as the UK government announced plans to charge migrants twice as much to use NHS services, raising nearly 220 million pounds a year for the UK tax-payer funded health service.
Published Date: Feb 05, 2018 22:04 PM | Updated Date: Feb 05, 2018 22:11 PM