Consultants and senior doctors in the NHS need to accept a move towards seven-day working if standards are to be improved, medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has suggested.
He insisted there is evidence to indicate vulnerable patients are more likely to die if they are admitted to hospital over a weekend, the Guardian reports.
Sir Bruce argued the move is necessary and has asked the NHS commissioning board to look into the possibility.
However, the proposal has been met with opposition from Paul Flynn, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, who claimed it is not financially viable for senior doctors to be present on wards seven days a week.
Mr Flynn stated: "It flies in the face of all logic to reward a system that is not using its existing resources to best effect over five days by giving it the opportunity to mismanage them over seven."
He rejected the argument the public expect a full service every day of the week, pointing to public transport as an example of where reduced weekend operations are accepted.
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