Professor Stephen Hawking has accused the Conservatives of wrecking the NHS
Professor Stephen Hawking has accused the Conservatives of wrecking the NHS, and believes it is being turned into a USA-style insurance system.
The world renowned physicist said he owed his life and achievements to the NHS and blamed government policy since 2010 for weakening the health service and destroying the morale of nurses.
Jeremy Hunt reacts after Stephen Hawking claims Tories have caused NHS crisisThe author of A Brief History of Time was speaking ahead of a keynote speech at the Royal Society of Medicine on Saturday which will single out health secretary Jeremy Hunt for criticism.
He told the Guardian: ‘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 added: ‘We see that the direction in the UK is towards a US-style insurance system, run by the private companies, and that is because the balance of power right now is with the private companies.’
Prof Hawking will say in his speech he fears private firms have gained such a large role in treating NHS patients they are now undermining its founding principles and have opened the door for American-style insurance care.
At the age of 21 Prof Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and he has increasingly relied on the NHS as his condition has deteriorated.