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Friday, 11 August, 2000, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Madonna snubs 'Victorian' NHS
Guy Ritchie and Madonna
Guy Ritchie and Madonna: Baby due in September
Pop star Madonna has turned her back on the NHS for the birth of her second child, saying she will give birth in the US as she does not trust British hospitals.

The superstar, eight months pregnant by British film director boyfriend Guy Ritchie, regards UK hospitals as "old and Victorian".

She also ended months of media speculation by revealing that she is expecting a boy.

Speaking to Kiss FM in Los Angeles, the singer and actress said she disliked the thought of the complications caused by giving birth in a foreign country, adding: "I like efficiency."

In the UK everyone has access to health care services

Royal College of Nursing Midwifery

And when asked about having the child in the UK, she said: "Come on now, have you been to hospitals in England?"

But Royal College of Nursing Midwifery adviser Vicki Allanach was quick to defend the NHS.

She said UK hospitals needed to be brought up to the best possible standards for every woman.

"There is now a renewed focus on the essentials of care - privacy, dignity and hygiene - which should start to make a real difference to patients' experiences," she said.

Available to all

She added: "The important thing to remember is that in the UK everyone has access to health care services."

Patients in the US must pay for their treatment.

Madonna and Lourdes
Madonna with her first child, daughter Lourdes
The Department of Health declined to be drawn on the star's views.

A spokesman said: "We wish Madonna well and the very best of luck."

Madonna has been dating Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director Guy Ritchie for more than a year.

She has spent most of her time in London during the relationship.

The pregnant singer is due to give birth to her second child in September.

She had her first child, daughter Lourdes, three-and-a-half years ago.

See also:

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Madonna reveals pregnancy cravings
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Madonna denies baby reports
20 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Madonna confirms pregnancy
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Madonna finds her guy
17 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Madonna becomes a Londoner
22 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Madonna's girl to be Cheltenham lady
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