US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump (Photo by: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


U.S. President Donald Trump has ignited yet another row with Britons after his tweet criticising NHS as “going broke and not working”. The comment attracted sharp rebuttal from many, including Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Trump used the march in support of NHS on Saturday to score a political point against his domestic political rival, Democratic Party, but, further alienated a close foreign ally.

“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 tweeted.

The march, in which thousands of people participated, demanded government to pump more money and roll back the influence of the private sector in the public-funded service, contrary to the prescription of dismantling by the US President.

Corbyn said as much in a tweet replying to Trump: “Wrong. People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it. Healthcare is a human right.” Many twitter users also pointed this out to the U.S. President, defending the NHS.

Hunt, who is the main target of protesters, reacted strongly: “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. 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.”

NHS Woes

With hospitals facing severe resource crunch for months, NHS funding is a topic of hot debate in the country. Ruling Conservative Party is accused of not investing adequately in it. There are 40,000 vacant nurse posts in England, with 27 percent more nurses and midwives leaving the job between 2016 and 2017 than joining.

The issue is limiting the day-to-day functioning of the hospitals, particularly with the outbreak of winter flu. As per the figures from Public Health England, 231 persons have died after contracting flu in the UK till February 1. More than 50,000 non-urgent operations were postponed last month, forcing Prime Minister Theresa May to issue a public apology.

According to the World Bank, Britain spends 9.1 percent of its GDP on health care, compared to 17.1 percent in the United States. However, average British life expectancy is 81.6 years, nearly three years longer than in the United States.

Continuing Clash

Trump has recently sparked uproar here with his retweet of anti-Muslim videos originally posted by Jayda Fransen, leader of far-right Britain First group. In the ensuing row, he went on to tell May to “focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom”, instead of him.


His tweets criticising Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, after the London Bridge terrorist attack in June 2017, also drew scorn from across the British political spectrum. Demands to cancel an invitation to Trump for a state visit to the U.K. has also been raised ever since.

Trump was to inaugurate the U.S. embassy’s new building in London last month, but cancelled the visit.