British doctors and nurses have hit back at Donald Trump after he said the NHS is “not working”.
In a tweet, the US president said the health service in the UK is “going broke”, sparking angry responses from the British government and opposition politicians.
But much of the ire directed at Mr Trump has come from those people working on the frontline of the NHS.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
A number of doctors and nurses lined up on Twitter to damn Mr Trump’s comments, which were seemingly made after former Ukip leader Nigel Farage discussed pro-NHS marches on US television.
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One nurse, Natasha White, tweeted: “How DARE you criticise our NHS. I am a Nurse working for this fantastic organisation.
“It’s not perfect, it needs more money but it offers some of the best healthcare in the world to all – no matter how much money you have or have not. Don’t comment on what you haven’t experienced.”
How DARE you criticise our NHS. I am a Nurse working for this fantastic organisation. It's not perfect, it needs more money but it offers some of the best healthcare in the world to all- no matter how much money you have or have not. Dont comment on what you haven't experienced.
— Natasha White (@tashavanhuizen) February 5, 2018
Another nurse, Danielle, tweeted: “Trump we were marching because the government are broke and not working.
“They have failed our NHS, it’s staff, patients and the whole country. We love our universal health system and as a nurse I am proud to work in it.”
Trump we were marching because the government are broke and not working.
They have failed our NHS, it's staff, patients and the whole country.
We love our universal health system and as a nurse I am proud to work in it. https://t.co/Ja0kCtmpSg
— Danielle #NHSLove ❤️ (@daniellejade198) February 5, 2018
Meanwhile, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said Mr Trump had “got the wrong end of the stick” and invited the US president to visit its “brilliant” staff and services during his planned trip to the UK this year.
Mr Stevens told the Commons Public Accounts Committee: “Unfortunately, and respectfully, I think we’d suggest that tweet got the wrong end of the stick.
“In fact, people in this country don’t want to ditch our NHS, notwithstanding everything that we’ve been talking about today, they want to keep it and strengthen it.
“So our invitation in the NHS should the president be visiting later this year will be to spend time with brilliant doctors, hospitals, technology experts, scientists, hear about the cataract services, the hip replacements, the modern scanners, the world-first liver, heart and lung transplant, the genomic revolution.
“Healthcare for everybody delivered at half the cost of the US healthcare system is something that people in this country are deeply and rightly committed to.”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “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.”
On Monday, health secretary Jeremy Hunt responded to Mr Trump with a tweet of his own.
He said: “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.
“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.”
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. 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 https://t.co/YJsKBAHsw7
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) February 5, 2018
Theresa May’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is proud of having an NHS that is free at the point of delivery.
“NHS funding is at a record high and was prioritised in the Budget with an extra £2.8 billion.
“In the recent Commonwealth Fund international survey, the NHS was rated the best in the world for a second time.”
Asked whether the prime minister backed Jeremy Hunt’s tweet, the spokesman said: “Jeremy Hunt is the Health Secretary and of course he speaks for the Government on these matters.”
Thousands of people chanting “Save the NHS” descended on Downing Street on Saturday to demand more funding for the health service.
The demonstration, called NHS In Crisis: Fix It Now, was organised by the People’s Assembly and Health Campaigns Together.
Responding to Mr Trump’s comments the groups said they were campaigning against moves towards an “expensive, inefficient and unjust” US-style system.