Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged leading doctors to cut NHS mortality rates, which he said - for England - currently stand among the worst in Europe for respiratory diseases.
Mr Hunt told MPs there was a "wide and unacceptable" postcode lottery in the performance of NHS trusts.
He called for measurable progress in the diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses, adding that doctors would save as many as 20,000 lives a year if England was as good as the best European nation when it came to treating major diseases.
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