Sir Bruce Keogh of the NHS commissioning board has said that the health service should move towards a seven-day model, and drew on Tesco as an example.
He told the Sunday Times: “If you wanted a day case operation, and you didn’t want to take a day off work, why can’t you have it on a Saturday or Sunday?
“Tesco have had to go through this – it was a complex issue for them.”
However the British Medical Association (BMA) has rebuffed the comparison.
A spokeswoman said: “The health service is not Tesco — I don’t think that is a good comparison.
"As doctors, of course we want to improve services we offer patients, but there has to be investment in sources that underpin that.”
More top news
Peers have rejected to vote through the Government's Brexit Bill in the first major setback for the legislation.
Teresa Dennett needed emergency surgery but she died after a row over hospital catchment areas and because of a lack of critical care beds.
The move will put 400 jobs at risk.