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Will the PM jettison the health bill?

By Christian Duffin

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 6 May.

The future of GP commissioning is once again a major talking point in the national newspapers, with some claiming that the strategy may be scrapped altogether, and others saying that GPs will be given the option of taking part.

The reports come after the RCGP wrote to the Government and demanded changes to the Health and Social Care Bill, which outlines its strategy for the NHS. RCGP chair Clare Gerada told Prime Minister David Cameron that an emphasis on competition would break up the NHS and that the NHS’s founding principle of comprehensive healthcare was under threat.

The Guardian quotes deputy prime minister Nick Clegg from yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show as saying: ‘A lot of people have said to me – and I basically think they’re right – they’re saying you’re going too fast, you’re trying to meet artificial deadlines, you’re forcing GPs to take on commissioning roles when they might not want to or aren’t able to. I basically think they’re right.’

The Times (accessed only through a pay wall) reports that Mr Clegg said he would encourage Liberal Democrat MPs to withdraw support for the Health and Social Care Bill unless ‘substantial, significant changes’ are made. Prime Minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne are considering the ‘nuclear option’ of junking the Health and Social Care Bill, The Times says.

British biotech company Futura Medical has created a new condom that can help give men erections, the Independent reports. The up-and-coming CSD500 model will be coated on the inside with a vasodilator gel, which will increase blood flow to the penis and result in a ‘stronger, longer-lasting erection’.

The Independent reports: ‘The manufacturers say the aim of the product is not recreational, but to give men with condom-related erectile dysfunction a better option.’

Obesity is contagious because people who have fat friends are more likely to become fat themselves, reports the Daily Mail. It highlights research from Arizona and arrives at the conclusion that ‘the fatter a woman’s social circle, the more likely she was to be obese herself.’

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily digest