Doctor, doctor, I’m too busy to go to the GP... It’s no joke

Keith Nurcombe
Government Recovery Act Funds South Florida Low-Income Health Clinics
Source: Getty

Professionals are some of the worst patients. They are prone to ignoring symptoms until they are nearly at death’s door because they simply don’t feel like they have the time required to queue up for a GP appointment.

Professionals worry that taking time off for a sick day might negatively affect their career, or at least their standing with their boss.

The problem stems from there being no efficient way to secure appointments or access to medically sound advice without having to leave the office (or your bed, if you’re taking a sick day).

It’s a false economy

Putting off seeking medical attention doesn’t just aggravate an illness or condition. It can have knock on effects on working relationships too.

When you can’t see the end to increasing discomfort or pain, it can cloud focus and cause frustration. Ultimately this taints interactions with colleagues and impacts you and your team’s performance.

No one should have to choose between their work or health, but packed schedules and a fear of taking too much time off means our wellbeing can play second fiddle to deadlines.

It’s important to prioritise the treatment of minor ailments before they escalate. The longer symptoms are put off, the worse a situation can get, leading to employees eventually having to take off longer periods of time.

It’s better to nip it in the bud early, either by using a medically accredited symptom checker to access advice, or visiting your GP.

Ditch Dr Google

By GP, I do mean your local, NHS GP and not “Dr Google”. It’s easy to succumb to the temptation, but the outcome usually ends with a pseudo diagnosis which more often than not instils unnecessary panic.

Other more medically credible options, such as symptom checkers, can leave you more flummoxed than before, with reams of detailed jargon, but no clear advice on how to get better.

And then, of course, there are paid-for alternatives that are flooding the market, but which can create more hassle in the end, rather than the convenience they promise. Trying to find a quiet corner in the office to describe personal health symptoms to a doctor, who has no knowledge of your medical background, isn’t always easy, and certainly doesn’t provide the same peace of mind of your own GP.

Alleviating the bottleneck

An online advice and NHS surgery booking tool is delivering 24/7 access to clinically endorsed advice for home (or office) care. This means that, if you don’t need to see a GP to get better, you don’t have to. And when you do, the path to care isn’t bottlenecked.

This is helping patients who are signed up to DoctorLink-supported surgeries get the support they need, without having to resort to paid-for services. It’s all part of the digital revolution in progress across the NHS.

Allowing professionals to respond to symptoms swiftly means illness doesn’t affect their performance – and they can get back to focusing on the work at hand.