Thunderstorm asthma and cabinet ministers mixing up their dates (again)
A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 8 May
Dentists cost the taxpayer £70 million a year, according to The Telegraph. An inquiry by watchdog NHS Project found that these naughty tooth-pullers have been charging for work they never carried out. Even more worryingly, it was revealed that a further £150 million could be lost to 'fraud' before new contracts can be introduced.
The Independent brings us a cure for the common cold this morning, with a report that zinc tablets may shorten the duration of a cold. However the study, carried out by the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, also found that side effects including nausea and diarrhoea make it scarcely worthwhile.
There was widespread coverage of the fact that asthma cases could rocket this summer if the rainfall continues. Heavy rain stirs fungal spors such as alternaria which has triggered a spike in sufferes of this so-called "thunderstorm asthma" being admitted to hospitals, doctors' surgeries and emergency services.
The Guardian lead on the cabinet's confusion over whether to veto a ruling which said it must publish a frank assessment of the impact of the new Health and Social Care Act. After the calendular mix up made by Theresa May in the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada, the government faces yet more embarrassment as it cannot agree on whether the deadline for the veto (and 28 days for an appeal) includes bank holidays and weekends.