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Patients ‘avoid’ visiting GPs

24 July 2013

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More than 60% of people try to avoid visiting general practice when sick, with a majority attempting to self-diagnose using online search engines. 

A survey of 2,000 people from across the UK has shown that 33% will self-diagnose using Google, health sites or forums. 

The reasons vary from finding it too difficult to get an appointment (46%), because waiting times are to long (31%) or because they cannot take time off work (15%). 

The research, commissioned by Phillips showed that a third of people (32%) believe that using mobile health apps, home health gadgets and the internet will help them to stay healthier in the long run, and are already using them to manage their health on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

A significant majority feels that new technologies such as remote health monitoring, are the key to reducing NHS spending while maintaining the same quality of healthcare.