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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Daily Digest 16 September 2009

By Ian Quinn

Today's round-up of the GP and other health stories making the headlines.

As the nation is gripped by rabid newspaper calls for cutbacks in every sector, cost again features prominently in today's health stories.

The Times reports the rising tide of obesity has helped make diabetes treatments the biggest drain on the primary care budget, with a total of 32.9 million diabetes drugs, costing nearly £60m, prescribed in the past financial year.

The paper quotes GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman as saying younger people are needing increasingly sophisticated and more expensive treatments to keep their conditions in check.

On the subject of new treatments, a wonder pill that could treat a third of breast cancer cases and be used against five other forms of the disease is hailed as a major breakthrough today in both The Times and The Sun.

The PARP inhibitor, olaparib, is already being used to treat some hereditary forms of breast cancer, says the paper, which highlights research claiming the treatment can kill cancer cells behind 30 percent of breast cancers - and up to 80 percent of breast, prostate, melanoma, womb, bowel and ovarian cancers.

The Daily Telegraph continues with yesterday's theme on the cost of fighting swine flu, claiming it will set every Briton back £16 a head, or £1bn for the nation, which works out about as much as a pair each of the comfy slippers the paper often advertises in its readers' offers section.

If only the nation's women all had them they could have avoided perhaps the biggest health debate according to today's papers. Not swine flu, not cancer - but high heels.

Most of the papers feature a debate involving doctors, union leaders, anti-sexism campaigners and Birmingham City chief Karren Brady, after TUC leaders' calls for compulsory workplace risk checks on the divisive fetish object. They include The Independent, which interviews doctors to get their views in its article Daggers drawn over stilettos .

As if banning high heels was not Draconian enough, the Daily Mail reports moves could soon be afoot to stop smokers lighting up outside as well as inside public places. It reveals New York is leading the way, with a scheme to extend the ban to the city's 1,700 parks and beaches.

The paper reports from old York, meanwhile, on the conference of the Dementia Services Development Centre, including a theory being floated that dementia affecting hundreds of thousands of Britons may be a Legacy of World War Two .

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest

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