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David Tennant and Frankie Boyle in plea to protect NHS from privatisation

SCOTTISH star David Tennant has made an impassioned plea to protect the NHS as he lends his voice to a campaign to stop the privatisation of the service.

He joins Frankie Boyle, Stephen Fry, Ed Byrne, Jonathan Ross, Steve Coogan and Russell Brand among a long line of celebrities adding their support to the campaign.

In a video shared by the Your NHS Needs You campaign, the Doctor Who actor spoke of how the NHS saved the lives of himself and his daughter, as well as detecting his wife’s cancer.

The campaign takes aim at the UK Government’s Health and Care Bill, which it says will “pave the way for the English NHS to be replaced by the profit-driven American system, in which private health providers are incentivised to cut and deny care to increase profits”.

READ MORE: More than 12,500 NHS staff subjected to physical assault or verbal abuse in last year

The SNP have also warned of the impact the bill could have on Scotland’s NHS.

Tennant said: “The National Health Service saved my life when I was 10 and my appendix burst.

“It saved my daughter’s life when she was just a few weeks old and they brought her back from a very scary place.

“Their screening service detected my wife’s cervical cancer and she got treatment and now she’s fine. The NHS is probably the thing that makes me proudest to be British.

“Proud because it’s a national kindness that we all contribute together to make sure everyone is cared for. No matter who they are everyone gets looked after.

“It’s a national selflessness. The fact the NHS exists makes us all better people. We tinker at that at our peril.”

The Bathgate-born actor, who stars in the Amazon and BBC TV programme Good Omens, has spoken out along with fellow Scot Frankie Boyle.

In a video shared by the campaign, the comedian said: “The NHS is being privatised. It is being privatised by stealth. It has been happening for years.

“And this is happening at the direction of some of the world’s worst people. So do what you can to protect the NHS.”

The campaign is run by advocacy group DiEM25, which aims to democratise the EU and Unite the Union.

The Health and Care Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons on November 23, with Labour, the SNP and 18 Tory rebels voting against the Government.

The SNP have said the bill “ignores the reality of a separate NHS in Scotland”.

READ MORE: Tens of thousands of callers wait more than an hour on NHS helpline

In October, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf warned that the bill could allow the UK Government to “treat the health service across the whole of the UK as a single unitary entity” – despite the NHS being a devolved matter.

The Tories say the bill as a whole seeks to reform the NHS to make it less bureaucratic and more accountable.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid also said the bill will help to end the crisis in social care in England and alleviate the amount those on the lowest incomes pay.

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.

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