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24th Feb 2023

Sir Rod Stewart pays for patients’ scans at a mobile unit in Essex

Charlie Herbert

Rod Stewart pays for scans

‘If we don’t have the NHS, it will be like the United States’

Sir Rod Stewart has paid for members of the public to have scans at a mobile unit in Essex, after pledging to do so on a news phone-in last month.

In January, the legendary singer phoned into Sky News to voice his anger with how the NHS is being run by the Tories. He said it was “ridiculous” that people were having to wait long periods to get essential scans and treatment, and that he had “never seen it so bad.”

Stewart then said he wanted to.donate enough money to pay for “10 or 20 scans” after recounting his experience of an “empty” private scanning clinic where he went for an annual check-up.

On Friday morning, he made good on his promise at a mobile unit in Essex, adding that it is something he would like to do in cities across the UK.

Sir Rod told Sky News: “Hopefully these are people that have had trouble getting a scan because of the backlog or lack of finances, so here I am, a knight in shining armour – and I am a knight by the way! That’s why I want to do good things, I’m not doing it for publicity.

He continued: “If this is a big success, and I think it will be, I’d like to do it in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and just keep it going.

“I hope some other people follow me because I want to prove I am not all mouth and no trousers – and that’s why I’m here to prove that I’ve followed through.”

He went on to call for NHS nurses to receive a pay rise, saying there “must be enough money in the coffers to pay up for these nurses.”

Stewart said the counteroffers made by junior doctors in their negotiations with the government over pay and conditions were “reasonable.”

He added: “Only two years ago we were clapping and now listen – they worked so hard.”

He warned: “If we don’t have the NHS, it will be like the United States.

“When you go into an emergency, they say, ‘right, go through your documents’ and it’s unbelievable in America.”

But he admitted that at the moment he believes the US healthcare system is working better than the UK’s, and urged the government to “pull it together.”

One of the patients who had a scan paid for by the singer was Edmund.

He said he had been waiting “a month” for a scan and that it was “much needed,” but said Sir Rod “shouldn’t be having to subsidising” scans for people.

On Friday, the British Medical Association announced junior doctors would be striking from 13-15 March, after health secretary Steve Barclay “refused to attend” a meeting with union bosses to negotiate on pay.

The BMA union says junior doctors are “demoralised, angry and no longer willing to work for wages that have seen a real terms decline of over 26% in the past 15 years”.

They said they had been left with “no option” but to strike, adding: “We have not been told why we have not been offered intensive negotiations nor what we need to do for the government to begin negotiations with us.”

Downing Street has labelled the strike action “disappointing.”

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