A petition calling for an end to the practice of rewarding GPs with cash incentives to cut the number of patients they refer to hospital has reached 140,000 signatures.
With the NHS cash-strapped and struggling to provide beds this winter, bosses are looking for any opportunity to save money.
That means that in some cases GPs have been offered cash rewards to cut the number of patients they refer to hospital – including people who might have cancer.
Campaigners say this practice is dangerous and has already been flagged as such by GPs who have raised the alarm on Jeremy Hunt’s plans.
On their Speak Out page, they say: “If we want to stop this scheme before it spreads across England, it will need thousands of us to tell Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to put an end to it.
“Jeremy Hunt is probably hoping this all blows over quickly.
“A huge petition, signed by hundreds of thousands could make sure that doesn’t happen.
“We can show that NHS patients (like you and me!) won’t stand for targets and money getting in the way of the care we all need when we’re sick.
“If 100,000 people sign the petition in the next 48 hours, we’ll send it straight to Jeremy Hunt.”