Patients delay visits to GP ‘over cost’

Almost two-thirds of private patients delay going to see a GP because of cost, according to a study which indicates an even higher number put off going to see a consultant for the same reason.

The study by the Adelaide Health Foundation and the Department of Public Health & Primary Care at Trinity College Dublin also found that 67% of private patients struggle to pay for medications and other out- of-pocket expenses.

As for public patients, 71% reported long waiting times to see hospital consultants and 52% said they had experienced long waiting times to receive treatment after diagnosis.

Some 63% of people said they delayed visiting a doctor due to cost, while 68% delayed seeing a consultant.

The study is based on a survey of 517 people, split between 10 different pharmacies, in the last quarter of 2013.

The report’s lead author, Dr Catherine Darker, who is Adelaide Assistant Professor in Health Services Research, said the report showed that both private and public patients were struggling with aspects of the health system.



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