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Doctors bid to ‘unseat’ MPs over health bill, and could an iPod-like device beat tinnitus?

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Monday 19 March.

The Independent reports that nearly 250 doctors have launched a campaign to unseat Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs at the next election ‘in revenge for their backing of the controversial Health and Social Care Bill'.

The docs signed a letter to the Indie on Sunday branding the bill an ‘embarrassment to democracy' and pledging to stand against MPs who have supported it.

The paper predicts Lib Dems will be hardest hit by this attack, especially those in marginal seats, but also reports that health secretary Andrew Lansley is ‘almost certain to face an electoral battle'.

But doctors taking the law into their own hands are not unprecedented. The Independent quotes Richard Taylor, a retired consultant who was elected as an independent MP for Wyre Forest in 2001 in protest at the downgrading of his local hospital: ‘I had no more thought of becoming an MP when I retired than I had of going to the moon, and I'm sure these doctors were the same,' he said.

‘The doctors selected as candidates need to be popular in their own areas and they have to portray what they stand for as a vital national issue. They will need an unpopular sitting MP or one who has voted the wrong way, so they must choose their targets wisely.'

Tinnitus could be going the same way as these MPs if reports in the Daily Mail come to pass, with the paper telling us about an iPod-like device that could help to end tinnitus.

The £4,000 gadget plays a series of tones tuned the frequency of the ringing that the suffers hear as part of their tinnitus. Participants in the trial wore the headphones for between one and six hours a day for 12 weeks and an average reduction of  50% was found.

Back to the health bill, and the Guardian's data blog kindly offers a Google spreadsheet showing who supports and who is against the changes, including opinions from the Royal Colleges, Unison and the BMA. However, this information isn't supplied purely out the kindness of their heart – with the paper posing  this teasing question to its readers: ‘What can you do with this list..?'