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No disciplinary action for 'pre-signed' abortion approvals, package holidays impact skin cancer rates and is it time to raise national insurance?

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 22 April.

Kicking off after the Easter weekend, the Daily Telegraph reports that the 67 doctors who were found to have signed blank abortion approval forms for patients they had never met, will not face disciplinary action.

The news, first revealed by a Daily Telegraph investigation last year, found some abortion clinics were still using pre-signed forms four years after the signatory doctor had left, the cases were referred to the GMC but none will progress to a hearing.

Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton, Jim Dobbin, said the findings from spot checks of private and NHS clinics revealed Britain’s ‘abortion-on-demand’ culture.

Meanwhile, on the back of recent warm weather, The Guardian reports that malignant melanoma rates have increased five-fold since the 1970s, and this is partly attributed to the rise of package holidays and the ‘healthy tan’ fashion.

It is the UK’s fifth most common cancer, with more than 13,000 people developing malignant melanoma every year and more than 2,000 people dying from the disease.

The Guardian also reported over the weekend that the Labour’s policy review group are considering raising national insurance contributions in order to plug the NHS’s budget deficit and cover the cost of long-term care for the elderly.

The scheme was advanced by former minister Frank Field and suggests a 1% rise in NI would be enough to plug the immediate budget ‘black hole’. He also suggested that pensioners should continue to pay NI to receive free care.

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