New research reveals that Brits are increasingly reluctant to visit their GP with seventy-one per cent – that’s nearly three quarters of us – admitting they avoid going to the doctor unless absolutely necessary. Sixteen per cent said they ignore problems until they get worse and worryingly four per cent – and seven per cent of men – claim they never go to the doctors at all.
The survey of 2,000 people conducted by SELFCheck, a new range of home health screening tests, found that fifty-five per cent blame this reluctance on not thinking they are ill enough. Fifty-two per cent cited a desire to not want to waste the doctor’s time whilst forty-seven per cent blamed difficulty in finding the time for an appointment. A further eighteen per cent – that’s nearly one in five - said it was due to the embarrassment involved in discussing health issues.
The survey found significant regional differences with southerners (nineteen per cent) twice as likely as northerners (eight per cent) to visit the doctor even if they are just slightly worried about a health issue. Residents of the North East are the most reluctant to visit their GP, followed by Scotland, London and South West.
However, the survey suggests we are taking a more proactive approach to staying healthy. Sixty-seven per cent – over two thirds – now regularly use the Internet to research a health condition and forty-eight per cent have used a device or test to monitor their own health. Women are twice as likely as men to have used a home test or device and showed a better knowledge of which health tests are currently available, such as cholesterol, blood glucose or Chlamydia tests. Encouragingly, sixty-nine per cent said they would feel confident using a home health test.
Dr Patricia Macnair, a specialist in acute medicine at Surrey Hospital, says: “People should not feel worried about visiting their doctor. We would rather hear our patients concerns, even if they are unfounded, than miss the chance to treat diseases that can have a serious impact on someone’s life.”
“With many conditions it’s important to diagnose as early as possible in order to get treatment started before long term complications develop. It is therefore encouraging that people are taking responsibility for their own health by using the Internet to become informed and taking advantage of home tests. But although SELFCheck tests are very reliable, they are not a replacement for your GP and they should be used as an indication that you need to seek further help and advice.”
The reliable, discreet and accurate SELFCheck range is available from selected Tesco stores, Rowlands, United Coop, National Coop and Day Lewis pharmacies as well as independent pharmacies nationwide, priced from £9.99.
For more information, please call 01903 753844 or visit www.selfcheck-tests.com.
Issued by: Pegasus Public Relations
On behalf of: Pasante Healthcare
Press enquiries: Emma Glazier / Chris Webb / Simon Hackett (01903) 821550
Notes to Ed: Experts available for interview and case studies available on request
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