ONE of the world’s most famous children’s hospitals has objected to a No vote advert for suggesting that Scots would join a “long list of foreigners” waiting for treatment after independence.
The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children has demanded that the advert produced by the non-party political Vote No Borders campaign be removed from cinemas.
The advert depicted two men discussing the independence issue.
One character asks if the NHS will still exist in the event of a Yes vote. The other answers: “Aye, up to a point.”
The first character then asks: “So if my family needs an expert at say the Marsden Cancer Hospital or Great Ormond Street?”
He receives the reply: “They can join the long list of foreigners waiting to be seen.”
A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust said: “Great Ormond Street Hospital was not consulted about this advertising, and we in no way endorse its messages, or that of any other political campaign group. We have contacted the Vote No Borders group to request that the advert is removed from cinemas as soon as possible.
“We would like to reassure Scottish families that we already have reciprocal healthcare agreements with numerous countries, and we regularly treat patients from across Europe because of our very specialist expertise.”
The commercial is no longer being shown having become a casualty of a decision by major Scottish cinemas chains to withdraw referendum adverts following complaints from film-goers.
Yesterday Dr Willie Wilson, co-founder of NHS for Yes, said: “This is a new low for the No campaign, who are now reduced to using sick children to scare people into voting No. As a result of their frankly disgraceful behaviour, Great Ormond Street Hospital has now been forced to reassure Scottish families that they already have reciprocal arrangements with numerous countries, regularly treating patients from across Europe.”
Dr Wilson added: The No campaign have repeatedly made false claims such as this – it is now essential that they withdraw all of their misleading literature and apologise to Scottish families whom they have needlessly distressed.”
Malcolm Offord, the businessman behind the Vote No Borders campaign – which acts independently of the lead No campaign Better Together, said: “We are painting a picture of an uncertain world. In the same way that the Yes campaign can’t answer questions around pensions, the currency and the EU, there is uncertainty around health care.”