Stephen Hawking v. the destroyers of the UK National Health Service

10.09.2017 - London UK - Silvia Swinden

This post is also available in: Spanish

Stephen Hawking v. the destroyers of the UK National Health Service
Stephen Hawking holding a lecture at Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, 24 August 2015 (Image by Alexandar Vujadinovic, Wikimedia Commons)

‘Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

‘The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”. The Guardian

Speaking at the Royal Society of Mediicne he argued that “The crisis in the NHS has been caused by political decisions…The political decisions include underfunding and cuts, privatising services, the public sector pay cap, the new contract imposed on the junior doctors and removal of the student nurses’ bursary.

“Failures in the system of privatised social care for disabled and elderly people has also placed additional burden on the NHS.” He also accused Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary of cherry picking on the research evidence in order to justify his damaging policies.

He was clear that due to suffering from crippling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis he would have been not only unable to develop his scientific career as a physicist but also his life would have been much shorter without the NHS.

How did Jeremy Hunt respond to this well founded criticism?

He called Stephen Hawking a liar. More elegantly though, accusing him of ‘pernicious falsehood’.

Scientists, politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and doctors have been pointing out that the famous physicist is the most capable to understand the research and that the Health Secretary is simply engaged in the policy of austerity and promoting the demise of the NHS in favour of a US style disastrously expensive and elitist medical system.

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