Workers and workers’ associations are calling for the resignation of a British billionaire who said health care workers need more support to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Sir Andrew Woodworth, who has a stake in health care company Medway, said “this is what happened” in a series of interviews.
“I can’t believe this is what has happened,” Mr Woodworth said.
“I don’t think anybody would have believed me.
It’s very, very, troubling.”
You can’t be the richest man in the world and say we need more health workers in the UK.
You have to have the support.
“The billionaire, who runs the Royal Bank of Scotland, has said he had been offered “a million dollars” to pay for an extra staff.
But his comments have sparked criticism from workers’ groups and a call from health workers and unions to investigate whether his comments were part of a conspiracy to smear the NHS.”
It is an appalling attack on the health service, and I think the whole world should be concerned about it,” said Simon Danczuk, the shadow health secretary.
The comments are in stark contrast to the views of Sir Andrew, who told the FT that he thought the government should be spending more money on health care.
He said: “There’s a reason why it’s called the NHS and it’s been here for a long time and it works, and if we’re spending more than we have to, that’s because we have the resources, but it is a challenge.”
Mr Woodworth also said that he believed the UK could have had a “safer and healthier future” had the NHS been in a better position.
However, in a statement to the FT, the Royal Basingstoke hospital said: “We recognise the importance of health services in our community and in the communities in which we operate, and are pleased that Sir Andrew has been contacted to discuss this matter.”
Sir Andrew’s company, Medway Healthcare, was among a number of businesses that have been hit hard by the coronivirus pandemics, including the NHS, which was left with a £6bn bill and the Government has said it will seek compensation from the billionaire for the financial damage.
Its chairman, David Tice, has also resigned from his role, which will be made permanent on Friday.
More: Theresa May is expected to visit the Royal British Legion in London on Saturday, when she will visit a memorial for the late Peter Wicks, a GP who was killed in the coronave epidemic.