Almost 40% of people 'cannot afford doctor's appointment'

Almost 40% of people 'cannot afford doctor's appointment'

Almost two-in-five people have been unable to afford a doctor's appointment to check for signs of cancer.

Patients could be missing out on life-saving early treatment by not visiting their GP sooner, according to a new study by the Irish Cancer Society.

The research, carried out to mark the launch of Cancer Week, asked a thousand adults what stopped them from seeking medical advice.

The answers included reasons like fear, anxiety and embarrassment.

It found that 42% of people said they had been too busy to visit their doctor.

Almost 40% of people 'cannot afford doctor's appointment'

Averil Power, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, said: “When it comes to cancer, early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death.

"The Irish Cancer Society does a huge amount of work to inform the public about the early warning signs and symptoms of cancer so that they can get them checked out as soon as possible. It’s disappointing to see the range of barriers that are stopping people from taking action when it comes to their health.

“No-one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed when it comes to talking about their health. Nor should cost be a factor in accessing professional medical advice.

"If anyone has any concerns about signs or symptoms or any aspect of cancer and are putting off visiting their doctor, we ask them to please contact our Freephone Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 for confidential advice (lines open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).”

    Have any of the following ever stopped you from going to the doctor? - % who replied ‘Yes’

  • I was too busy to go to the doctor. - 42%
  • I wasn’t able to afford the doctor’s appointment. - 39%
  • I had too many other things to worry about. - 35%
  • I was worried about wasting the doctor’s time. - 31%
  • I was too worried about what the doctor might find. - 29%
  • I thought/knew I would have to wait a long time for a doctor’s appointment so didn’t make one. - 28%
  • I was too embarrassed about a symptom/ to ask a question. - 27%
  • I was too scared about a symptom/ to ask a question. - 25%
  • I didn’t feel confident talking about my symptoms with the doctor. - 25%
  • I thought/knew it would be difficult to make an appointment with my doctor. - 25%
  • I thought/knew my doctor would be too difficult to talk to about the issue/symptom. - 20%
  • I thought/knew it would be difficult to arrange transport to the doctor. - 16%

- Digital Desk

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