US President Donald Trump has sparked a backlash from UK politicians by attacking the National Health Service.
In a tweet criticising US Democrats pushing for a universal health system, he said “thousands of people are marching” in the UK because the NHS is “going broke and not working”.
This was believed to be a reference to a Save the NHS march on Downing Street on Saturday, demanding more funding.
Downing Street said Theresa May was “proud” of the UK’s system.
Her spokesman said the NHS had recently been ranked as the world’s best healthcare system and that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who has hit back at the US president on Twitter, “speaks for the government”.
Organisers of the demonstration said it had been aimed at showing people’s “love” for the NHS.
The chief executive of NHS England said the US president had “got the wrong end of the stick”.
In the UK, the NHS is funded out of general taxation, so people do not have to pay when they get treatment.
In the US, when people get treatment they have to pay, most often through health insurance providers.
Health Secretary Mr Jeremy Hunt said no-one wanted “to live in a system where 28 million people have no cover”.
He added: “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.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – the leader of the UK opposition – also hit back, saying: “People were marching because we love our NHS and hate what the Tories are doing to it.”
He added: “Healthcare is a human right.”