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GPs have pensions 'advantage', the 'nuisance' seaweed with healing powers and would you let your local hospital treat your best friend?

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 25 May

GPs ‘have an advantage' over other members of public sector pension schemes, says a comment piece in the Guardian today

Why? Because the ‘support of doctors is key for the success of the new reforms' and ‘the NHS arrangements are self-financing and in surplus begging the question why fix what isn't broke?'

The piece finishes with a call to action: ‘I urge doctors to win their pension dispute by dragging the highly dangerous NHS reforms back on to the front-pages.' Yowsers.

The Guardian also reports of a ‘friends and family test' for hospitals. Prime minister David Cameron has said that patients will be asked to rate the care they have received and the results will be compiled and published in an effort to raise the quality of hospital care.

NHS workers are already asked whether they would be happy for their friends and family to be treated where they work. As of April next year, patients will also be able make this judgement.

Earlier this year Pulse investigated the quality of hospital care in the UK and discovered that one in seven GPs thinks their local hospital is ‘dangerously substandard', with one doctor claiming he ‘wouldn't send [his] dog' there. Could be controversial.

The Daily Mail reports of a ‘nuisance' seaweed that could ‘help beat arthritis'. The seaweed, which has been destroying coral reefs in Hawaii, contains a powerful anti-inflammatory which scientists believe could be used in medicines ranging from arthritis to cancer to heart disease. It also contains ‘cyanobacterium' which have ‘shown promise in combating bacterial infections'.

And the hunt is back on for the male contraceptive pill. Researchers in Edinburgh have discovered a gene  vital ‘for the production of healthy sperm', reports the BBC. Any drug which interrupts this gene, ‘Katnal 1',  could act as a male contraceptive. At the moment male contraception is mainly down to condoms or a vasectomy, and as such, the BBC quotes a fertility expert who said that there is ‘certainly a need for such a drug.'

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