Rishi Sunak three times refuses to say if he uses private health care

Rishi Sunak three times refuses to say if he uses private health care

Rishi Sunak three times refuses to say if he uses private health care

When asked in an interview with the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg if he was or had ever been registered with a private GP, Mr Sunak replied:

Asked in an interview with the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg if he was or had ever been registered with a private GP, Mr Sunak replied: “My father was a doctor, I grew up in an NHS family -Jeff Overs/BBC

Rishi Sunak refused three times to say whether he used private medical care on Sunday, insisting it was “not really relevant”.

The prime minister pointed to his family’s education and record levels of investment in the health service, as he refused to describe the current pressures on the NHS as a “crisis”.

Sunak has faced criticism from political opponents on the issue, as he is believed to be the richest prime minister in history.

Some Labor and Conservative MPs have raised concerns that he is out of touch with voters amid the cost-of-living crisis, while his wife Akshata Murthy’s stake in Infosys, her father’s IT company, is valued. currently at £618 million.

Asked in an interview with the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg if he was or had ever been registered with a private GP, Sunak replied: “My father was a doctor, I grew up in an NHS family.

“I mean, as a general policy, I would never talk about my health care situation or that of my family.

But then again, it’s not really relevant to this. What is relevant is the difference I can make in the country.”

‘My dad was a GP’

Told that Margaret Thatcher had been open about her use of private healthcare while at number 10, Sunak said: “I think what matters to people, you know, am I going to make a difference to what they care? When it comes to the NHS, I mean I literally grew up in an NHS family. My dad was a family doctor, my mom was a pharmacist.

“I think my record matters more than these things. But what I will say is I want to make sure that we have fantastic healthcare for everyone.”

Mrs Thatcher revealed in 1987 that she had health cover, saying it was “vital” to “go to hospital on the day I want, at the time I want and with the doctor I want”.

When asked once again why he didn’t say so, Sunak described the question as a “distraction from what the real problem is.”

“When it comes to the private sector in general, we should make use of the independent sector. I have no problem with that at all.”

He said the government needed to be significantly more open to using the available capacity of the independent sector to give patients more choice about where to have elective surgery.

When asked during the summer leadership campaign when he and his family had last used the health service, Mr. Sunak said, “I wouldn’t expect me to talk about my children’s health services.” [history]but of course we use the NHS.”

Asked if the NHS was currently in the midst of a “crisis”, Mr Sunak replied: “Without question the NHS is under enormous pressure and I have spent today talking to NHS leaders, in fact , all day”.

He added that the recovery from the pandemic was “going to be difficult” and that the delay accounted for many of the scenes at hospitals in recent weeks and months.

‘We’re not talking about privatizing the NHS’

It came as Sir Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, defended his position on using the private sector to reduce record NHS waiting lists, which currently number more than seven million.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge show on Sunday, Sir Keir said: “We are not talking about privatizing the NHS. The NHS has always used elements of the private sector, GPs being one example of this.”

However, he added that outsourcing “some issues and functions” to commercial providers had not been “very effective.”

Sir Keir has changed his position on the issue since he was elected by Labor in April 2020. During the campaign, he said as part of his ’10 Commitments’, which have now been scrapped, that “public services should be in the hands public. , not generate profits for shareholders.

“Support common ownership of railroad, postal, power, and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system.”

Wes Streeting, the Labor party’s shadow health secretary, said he did not use private healthcare and claimed Sunak was out of touch.

Speaking to the BBC, Streeting said: “I think the prime minister in that interview came across as someone who not only doesn’t use the NHS but also doesn’t understand the scale of the challenges or have a plan to deal with the fundamental problems.

“Because, yes, you can get people to sit around the table in Number 10 for a photo shoot, yes, you can make more Band-Aids to get you through this winter.

“But we need fundamental change in the NHS to deal with the biggest crisis in its history, and that is what Labor is looking to do.”

Pat Cullen, the secretary general of the Royal College of Nursing, whose members are due to strike again next week amid a pay dispute with the government, used her interview with Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday to urge Sunak to “come clean.”

“I think as a public servant, you need to be clear with the public whether or not you are using private health coverage,” he said.

“It’s about being open, it’s about being transparent, and it’s about honesty. As a public servant, you are elected by the public, so you are accountable to the public, and when you are accountable to the public, you have to be honest with them.”

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