Rod Stewart Offers to Pay People’s Medical Bills
Rod Stewart called a TV phone-in about the British health service crisis and offered to cover people’s medical bills. Critics of the U.K. government said the National Health Service has been underfunded for years. Waiting times for emergency treatment and routine scans are longer than they’ve ever been, while some sectors of NHS staff are currently striking over what they say are life-threatening conditions to patients.
The service is paid for by a form of tax called National Insurance, but private Medicare is available at an additional personal cost.
The Guardian reported that Stewart was watching Sky News’ Your Say show, which included callers discussing their struggles to secure appointments for routing scans on existing conditions. When put on the air, Stewart said, “I would like to pay for 10 or 20 scans or however much it takes. I don’t know how we’re [going to] work this out. … Hopefully, some other people will follow. ... There are people dying because they cannot get scans. I don’t need the publicity. I just want to do some good things and this, I think, it’s a good thing, because if other people follow me, I’d love it.”
The veteran singer has supported the current Conservative (Tory) government for some time but said a change was needed. “I think this government should stand out now and give the Labour Party a go at it because this is heartbreaking for the nurses,” he argued. “In all my years of living in this country, I’ve never seen it so bad, and anything I could do to help. Poor nurses, I’m on your side. … This is a bad time for us in Great Britain, it really is. Change the bloody government. ... It’s just terribly sad. I’m so proud to be British, and I can’t stand it being this way.”
Sky TV producers announced that they would arrange for contact to be made between Stewart and those who wanted to take up his offer.