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GPs to give out free gym memberships, what Steve Field did next and are inflated GP salaries shortening patients’ lives?

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 30 November

This morning, both the Daily Mail and the Telegraph are making the outrageous claim that GP salaries are ‘knocking three years off UK lives'.

No, not another scandalous slur from Wikileaks, it is apparently the finding of a ‘damning' report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The report says although the UK spending on health is on a par with other prosperous countries, men and women are less healthy because of the high salaries of doctors (although perhaps they should look more closely at how that money is spent).

The Mirror reports on a study showing a link between paracetamol and childhood asthma. The study says children in their first 15 months given Calpol are twice as likely to develop asthma.

The newspapers are also full of leaked information about the Government's public health plans, including plans for minimum alcohol pricing and news of former RCGP chair Professor Steve Field's new job.

Far from joining the swelling ranks of the newly unemployed, The Guardian reports Andrew Lansley has appointed him as the head of a new ‘health inclusion board' to tackle chronic health problems among marginalised groups.

Professor Field said the new board will ‘champion the cause of people who are vulnerable and socially excluded, such as the homeless and street sex workers', many of whom often do not visit GPs or hospitals.

The newspapers also reveal the Department of Health is busy working on a 250m scheme scheme to reduce obesity, with supermarkets, newspapers and GPs handing out the hottest tickets since Michael Jackson's last tour. Yes - free vouchers that the public will be able to exchange for gym membership, swimming sessions, and healthy food and drink! Nice one, Mr Lansley, although the Daily Digest can't help fearing most of them will end up on eBay...

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest - 30 Nov 2010