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The Mail’s war on GPs rumbles on, sex selection abortions revealed, Lansley wins risk register battle

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Thursday 23 February.

We’re all aware of what the Daily Mail thinks about GPs and money but if you’re not, take a look at the paper’s front page this morning which screams: ‘GPs make £162m out of ghost patients’.

The newspaper says doctors are receiving an extra £162m a year – ‘footed by the taxpayer’ – for non-existent patients on their books ‘who have moved house, left the country or been dead for up to 40 years’.

The newspaper forgets that not all of these patients are ghosts, and accuses GPs in some cases of ‘deliberately keeping patients on their books to earn themselves extra cash’. 

‘Baby girls aborted, no questions asked’ is the front page splash on the Telegraph this morning. The Department of Health is looking into claims that some doctors are granting illegal abortions purely on the basis of the sex of the foetus.

The allegations come after an undercover investigation by the newspaper which caught doctors agreeing to terminate foetuses ‘purely because they are either male or female’.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley’s bid to keep private the document which calculates the risk to NHS care that the Government’s NHS reforms would pose continues, the Guardian reports.

The health secretary, who the newspaper says ‘looks more determined than ever’, won the support of MPs with a majority of 53 who rejected a motion, tabled by the opposition, to force the Government to publish the risk register.

Mr Lansley suggested that he might refuse to release the document ‘even if instructed to do so by a tribunal’ due to meet in a fortnight to judge on his dispute with the Information Commissioner, who has ‘instructed him to publish’.