Rod Stewart is making good on his word and paid for a number of medical scans for patients in need at a hospital in Harlow, Essex, England.
Last month, Stewart called into a British television program to express his frustration over the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) having massive waiting lists for patients in need of hospital treatment scans. Despite being a longtime supporter of the U.K.’s Conservative Party (aka: Tories), he was in disbelief in how they were running the NHS. He was especially frustrated since he was able to go to a private healthcare facility to obtain a scan, and the facility was “empty.”
“I personally have been a Tory for a long time but I think this government should stand out now and give the Labour party a go at it, because this is heartbreaking for the nurses,” said Stewart.
Sir Rod added, “I would like to pay for 10 or 20 scans, or however much it takes … 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.”
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Cut to Friday, February 24 when Stewart visited Princess Alexandra Hospital and paid for an entire day of scans at the NHS facility. The Guardian spoke with Stephanie Lawton, the chief operating officer of the hospital. She said Stewart coming in and paying out of pocket for the scans of 20 patients helped reduce their waiting list by 10%. Lawton added, “Rod’s a local resident, we’re his local hospital, we’re really delighted to be working with him and his team for the benefit of patients and doing everything we can to reduce the waiting lists.”
Stewart shared with the outlet, “If this is a big success, which I think it will be, I’d like to do it in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and just keep it going, and hope some other people follow me. Because I want to prove I’m not all mouth and trousers and that’s why I’m here to prove that I followed through with it, OK folks.”
Stewart also said, “There must be enough money in the coffers to pay up for these nurses – only two years ago we were clapping and now … Bless them, they work so hard, salt of the earth.”