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Hell is other people – especially when they are snivelling in doctors' waiting rooms. But queuing to see your GP could soon be a thing of a past (so long as you can afford to buy a PC and a modem).

Under new proposals, GPs will be able to offer consultations over the Internet, and deliver diagnoses and prescriptions by email. Designed to cutdown the Herculean workload of British medical practitioners, the Desk-Top Doctor initiative will ensure that GPs can complete much of their work without seeing patients.

The Government is pumping in £50 million into the initiative, which will see Britain's 30,000 GPs given new PCs later this year.

Desk-Top Doctor will also offer online conferencing facilities, and connections to the NHS intranet. ®

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