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Jeremy Hunt slaps down Donald Trump over NHS claims

Donald Trump has caused another spat between the UK and US after he attacked the NHS just minutes after his friend Nigel Farage discussed the system on US TV.

The leader of the free world tweeted that people in the UK were protesting because the "system is going broke and not working". In reference to his country's own debate about healthcare, he added: "Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!"

Trump later tweeted thanks to his favourite news show Fox & Friends "for exposing the truth".

Just a little while earlier, the former Ukip leader Farage had appeared on the show to explain the problem was exacerbated by "a population crisis caused by government policy on immigration".

"The National Health Service has turned into the International Health Service and we're providing a lot of healthcare for people coming into Britain from all over the world," he added.

"We do need some absolutely fundamental reforms. This system we have was set up in 1948. Surprisingly for a state-run thing for most of the first fifty years the public had great faith in it. Right now it's pretty much at breaking point."

The tweet has provoked a reaction from many people – including the health secretary Jeremy Hunt – pointing out that the UK's system is cheaper and more effective than the US's.

Hunt 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."

The People's Assembly Against Austerity and Health Campaigns Together, who organised the weekend's march, added: "[The NHS] has been a shining example to the world of what can be achieved when we put the needs of the collective good over the interests of a few wealthy individuals. Unfortunately, our current government have been persuaded to increasingly adopt policies which represent those of your government, they have decided to move us more to an American-style system which is widely acknowledged to be one of the most expensive, inefficient and unjust healthcare systems in the world.

"This is why our NHS is currently struggling and why leading Professors including Professor Stephen Hawking are bravely battling politicians who wish to turn it into a system like yours.

"This is what our demonstration was about on Saturday 3rd Feb and tens of thousands of British people want to show their love for the principles of universal and comprehensive care free at the point of use, paid for through general taxation. We don’t agree with your divisive and incorrect rhetoric. No thanks."

Here's what others had to say:

Bonus fact: the US spends more *government* money per person on healthcare than the UK does. Universal system is not only better, it’s vastly cheaper. pic.twitter.com/8rubrrvv5r

— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) February 5, 2018

Life expectancy, UK vs. US:
?? male: 79.4; ?? male: 76.9
?? female: 83.0; ?? female: 81.6

Healthcare spending (OECD):
??: 9.9% of GDP
??: 16.6% of GDP

Uninsured:
??: 0
??: 28 million https://t.co/Qjcx4N2owz

— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 5, 2018

And a small amount of trolling from the Lib Dem leader Vince Cable.

Dear @realDonaldTrump,
Your interest in our treasured NHS is noted – I’m sure, as ever, you are on top of the detail.
On the offchance you’re not, pls read this @libdems report, published today, To find out how to fund a universal healthcare system. https://t.co/gjbELmqg4c

— Vince Cable (@vincecable) February 5, 2018

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