Cost a barrier to seeking healthcare, survey finds

Some people in Guernsey are not seeing a doctor due to the cost, a report on primary care has revealed.

In a survey, 48% of people said they had delayed a trip to the doctor, physio or emergency department because of the cost.

Nearly 2,000 people took part in the CareWatch study.

David Le Poidevin, interim CareWatch chairperson, said the survey results indicated a “difficulty with accessibility” for care services.

Mr Le Poidevin said: “The results clearly indicated that there is a difficulty with accessibility for primary care services, particularly among lower income households.

“We did pick a few other interesting points out of that. It was quite alarming the level of stress we’d seen among participants, particularly in the younger age groups.”

Of the 1,985 people surveyed, 31% said they had health concerns they had not seen a GP about.

cost a barrier to seeking healthcare, survey finds
© BBC Overall, 53% of people said they paid for their appointment, whereas 3% said the States of Guernsey paid

Younger people, women, people in rented accommodation or without private health insurance were more likely to have not sought, or delayed seeking care.

Overall, 53% of people said they paid for their appointment, whereas 3% said the States of Guernsey paid.

The remaining 44% of people said they used private health insurance to pay for their GP or nurse consultations.

This was broken down into an even split, with 22% with health insurance via an employer and 22% with health insurance as an individual or household.

Carewatch said it hoped the results of this survey would inform an ongoing review by the States of Guernsey of the funding and delivery model for primary care.

Follow BBC Guernsey on Twitter and Facebook. Send your story ideas to channel.islands@bbc.co.uk.

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