Patients should phone their GP rather than drive in for a visit, according to National Health Service guidelines unveiled today.
Ministers want family doctors to hold more 'phone-in' surgeries to help the environment by cutting carbon emissions from cars.
They also want hospitals to achieve their green targets by reducing the amount of meat they serve to patients in wards.
Patient groups said the 'telemedicine' plans were fraught with danger because a misdiagnosis over the phone could lead to incorrect treatment and even death.The Government says action is needed because the NHS is responsible for a quarter of all the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the public sector.
I've a good mind to phone NHS direct and give them the symptoms of Cholera or some such exotic disease. They'll most likely tell me I've got a cold and to take an Asprin. If I feel ill, then I'll damn well drive to the Doc. I pay his wages after all.