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Daily Digest 21 September 2009

By Steve Nowottny

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

A bumper crop of health stories in this morning's papers – starting with one you may already have seen on this website.

The nationals have followed up PulseToday's exclusive, first published on Friday, which revealed that patients at a third of GP practices have suffered complications after being misdiagnosed with swine flu. ‘Swine flu staff are 'making deadly errors'', the Daily Mail says, while the Telegraph also has the story.

The Guardian has an update on the case of Dr Daniel Ubani, the German locum doctor at the centre of ongoing controversy over the wider standards of out-of-hours care. ‘Killer German GP failed first attempt to work in the UK' is the headline.

There's plenty of clinical news in today's papers, too. A warning from researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, that the number of dementia cases could double within the next 20 years receives wide attention, for example in the Times, the Mirror and the Guardian.

There's also plenty on an eight-year study of more than 16,000 women which concluded that hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of dying from lung cancer – in the Daily Mail, as well the Sun, Mirror and Telegraph.

The Independent is one of several papers to report a ‘Gene breakthrough for prostate cancer', after two studies revealed nine new genetic variations that contribute to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

New guidelines on assisted suicide, due to be published this week by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, also receive widespread coverage, including on the Telegraph's front page – ‘Families allowed to assist suicides of terminally ill' is the headline.

For GPs who may or may not have fond memories of Patricia Hewitt's stint as health secretary, the Sun's splash this morning may raise a wry smile or two. ‘Hewitt Son In Coke Bust' is the matter-of-fact headline, which says it all really.

And finally it's a golden rule of journalism that if the headline is a question, the answer is no. So to the Daily Mail, where a full page feature today is headlined: ‘Can this man cure cancer with his bare hands?' Truth be told, we haven't read the whole thing, so we don't know how it turns out. Let us know if he can…

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

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