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Employees struggling to fit GP appointments around work commitments

Almost two thirds say getting advice via video would be easier

Employees are struggling to fit medical appointments around the demands of their job, a survey from AIG Life suggests.

The poll of 2,000 workers found more than half (52%) have had to cancel or change medical appointments because of work commitments, while nearly six out of 10 (59%) said they feel guilty about attending appointments during work because colleagues have to cover for them. 

NHS data shows more than 15 million appointments with GPs, nurses, therapists and other practice staff – around one in 20 of the total 307 million sessions – are wasted each year because people do not turn up or cancel at the last minute.

Although 72% of workers said their bosses are flexible about time off for appointments and 39% said their GP offers times outside of normal working hours, only 41% find it easy to take time off work so they can get to medical appointments. 

Nearly half (45%) said they regularly work a long way from their GP’s surgery so find it nearly impossible to get there during the working day.

The survey suggests these challenges are driving interest in video consultations – 64% said getting advice via video on their phone or a tablet would be easier.

Alison Esson, propositions manager at AIG Life, said coordinating busy lives with work pressure and appointment times can be a tough juggling act, but technology can ease the strain.

“Video consultations with a GP, for example, can be a solution for many of us, which is where services such as Smart Health can be a very valuable additional service for customers,” she added.