Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has attacked the performance of the NHS during a campaigning visit to London.
US presidential hopeful, who suffered from prostate cancer, claims he would have been far less likely to survive if he had been treated under the UK's state-run healthcare system.
And the Republican, who is bidding to become the party's nominee to succeed President George Bush, said private healthcare providers should be encouraged to enter the market to improve the service.
Mr Giuliani, who held talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and met Conservative leader David Cameron, spoke out at an event in a London hotel.
He said: "Healthcare right now in America, and I think it has been true of your experience of socialised medicine in England, is not only very expensive, it's increasingly less effective.
"I had prostate cancer seven years ago. My chance of survival in the US is 82%; my chance of survival if I was here in England is below 50%. Breast cancer, very similar.
"I think there's something to the idea that there are many more private options driving the system that create altogether better results."
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