The NHS has been dragged into the debate US politicians are having about President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals.
Allegations that the NHS denies patients life-saving treatments because of age or cost are inflaming debate on proposed health-care reform in the US.
Opponents of President Obama’s attempts to extend free treatment claim that they include ‘death panels’ based on a system allegedly used in Britain.
They have aired TV advertisements detailing claims apparently from UK patients that they were deprived of treatment under the NHS. This despite rigorous denials.
Says a spokeswoman for the Department of Health: ‘This information is untrue. The NHS in England provides health services on the basis of clinical need, irrespective of age or ability to pay.
‘The NHS constitution enshrines these patients’ rights and places a duty on the NHS to promote equality through the services it provides.’
Central to the issue is the fact that because 50 million US citizens have no medical insurance. The president is trying to force through reforms that will extend state cover.
Is the NHS better than the US healthcare system?