Is the increasing struggle to see GPs driving patients to the Internet?
4th July 2014
keyboardWhat would we do without the internet? You can buy all of your Christmas presents online and even order your weekly food shop to be delivered straight to your door. Moreover, in the present day, many of us choose to ‘Google’ our illness or health problem, its symptoms and relevant treatment(s). The internet is a blessing in some ways, especially with the news this week that actually being able to see a GP in England is getting more and more difficult to achieve, according to the official patient survey. The fact so many of us now struggle to actually speak to the receptionist at a doctor’s surgery, let alone arrange a visit to speak to someone about a health problem, could logically drive more people towards the internet. Here people can undergo online consultations for a wide range of conditions like acne, hair loss, male impotence, etc, and see their medication delivered to their door the very next day. Yes, Medical Specialists™, the UK’s leading one-stop online pharmacy and doctors, can take all of the worry and stress out of trying to see your GP and then onto a pharmacy to go and collect your medications. A poll comprising of around 900,000 patients discovered that in the last two years, there was a 6% increase in the number of people who reported difficulties getting through to try and arrange an appointment to see a GP, rising from 18% to 24%. After they did finally manage to get through, 11% of them were not even able to actually book an appointment, the Ipsos MORI poll for NHS England revealed. However, 75% did claim that they had a good experience of booking their appointment, and 86% said their overall experience was good when they did manage to see a doctor, or in some cases a practice nurse. Unfortunately though the fact remains that long waits to see a GP about an ailment will become something of the norm. Only last week the British Medical Association (BMA) said how patients could expect to be waiting longer to see a GP in the future due to funding cuts and a shortage of doctors. BMA GP leader, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, spoke at the BMA’s annual conference, warning how waits of one or two weeks would “become the norm”. Although waiting times were not measured for the survey, it does appear to be that a growing number of people are having difficulty with being able to see GP.