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Labour attacks GP access record, half of public support migrant charging and a gentle exercise warning

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Funding for extended GP hours access has fallen from £3.01 per patient to just £1.90 under the coalition resulting in almost 600 fewer practices offering extended hours access, the Labour Party has told the BBC.

The extended hours scheme introduced by Labour in 2009 funded access in 77% of GP surgeries, the party said, but by 2013/14 this had fallen to 72%. However the figures, obtained through a parliamentary question, are contested by the coalition parties who say they are out of date and don’t account for the PM’s Challenge Fund sites.

Labour have launched a new election poster on the topic of GP access, and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told the BBC: ‘On all the indicators it is clear that GP services have gone backwards in this Parliament.’

UKIP ambitions to withhold free NHS services from new migrants for a period of five years appear have support from 50% of the British public, a YouGov poll of 1,906 adults has found.

The Independent also reports that 52% of the public thought Nigel Farage was right to  raise the issue of NHS spending on immigrants with expensive conditions such as HIV, during last week’s leadership debate.

A UKIP spokesperson said: ‘This poll finding shows yet again the disconnect that exists between the Westminster bubble and much of the population.’

Today sees a range of heart health headlines from the Telegraph, which warns that gentle exercise like golf and housework are not enough to ward off issues like diabetes and heart disease, despite their being recommended by government campaigns like Change 4 Life.

Researchers say at least 45 minutes - 30% of the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise – should be vigorous activity such as jogging, aerobics, or tennis.

And there is a similar misconception over the risks posed by high intensity exercise, with US researchers saying the high profile nature of exercise related heart failure – often happening in front of huge crowds - have exaggerated the risks.

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