Edwina Currie accused Adil Ray of “turning into Piers Morgan” after the Good Morning Britain host blasted her for comments over NHS migrant workers.
This weekend it was revealed that Dido Harding plans to end the reliance on foreign doctors and nurses if she becomes the next head of the health service.
Baroness Harding of Winscome – the former head of the much-maligned Test and Trace service – formally applied to succeed Sir Simon Stevens atop the NHS last week.
If successful, the Tory peer will become chief executive of Europe’s biggest employer, with a budget of more than £150 billion and a waiting list of anxious patients awaiting treatment and surgery which stands at around five million.
14 per cent of the workforce
Harding has charted NHS Improvement since 2017 and is close to ministers – but her leadership of the government’s testing programme has been harshly criticised as ineffective and wasteful, The Sunday Times reported.
She reportedly plans to challenge the “prevailing orthodoxy” in government that it is better to import medical professionals from overseas. According to the House of Commons Library, 170,000 out of 1.3 million NHS staff say their nationality is not British – close to 14 per cent of the workforce.
Appearing on GMB this morning, Currie came out in favour of the plans, much to the annoyance of Ray, who said:
“Those migrant doctors have held up this country, have held up the NHS.
“127,000 people have died in the last year, many tens more thousand would have died if it wasn’t for migrant workers.
“They are British”
‘Migrant doctors have held up this country, have held up the NHS.’@adilray passionately asks @Edwina_Currie to clarify her comments during the debate about whether the NHS should end its reliance on foreign workers.— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 21, 2021
Watch GMB 👉 https://t.co/6iQ6ebeOEQ pic.twitter.com/uJEisMexiB
Turning into Piers Morgan
Currie then accused Ray of “turning into Piers Morgan” following the rant, but according to Twitter, his sentiment is a popular one.
Peter Stefanovic said migrant workers “courageously and selflessly risked their own safety to keep us safe” during the pandemic, while Rachel Clarke pointed out that many have already had to endure “institutional and other forms of racism”.
Around 170,000 NHS staff are of non-British nationality. During the pandemic they courageously & selflessly risked their own safety to keep us safe. They are heroes who deserve our thanks & gratitude. Imagine what they must think reading this headline https://t.co/t0wx7injeH— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) June 20, 2021
Unbelievable. NHS doctors, nurses & staff from overseas already endure institutional & other forms of racism.— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) June 20, 2021
They’ve died in disproportionate numbers from Covid.
And now this from the woman who wants to be the next boss of @NHSEngland??? https://t.co/rQ36rEfWvz
David Scheider said the “moral of Brexit is that xenophobia will get you power”, adding that “now is the turn of the NHS”.
The moral of Brexit is that xenophobia and stoking hatred of foreigners will get you power even if it means burning everything to the ground. Now it’s the turn of the NHS. https://t.co/ABbFSkM3i1— David Schneider (@davidschneider) June 20, 2021
While Dr Julia Grace Patterson said she is “disgusted” by the attitude of Dido Harding.
“Foreigners” have made their home in the UK, have committed to the UK and cared for patients on the frontlines. Many were unprotected with inadequate PPE. Many died. These “foreigners” are our valued colleagues— Dr Julia Grace Patterson💙 (@JujuliaGrace) June 20, 2021
Disgusted by this attitude from Dido Harding https://t.co/7mCBH66RHw