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Wednesday 26th October 2016

How to get men to visit the GP

11th August 2007

Following an Equal Opportunities Commission report which shows men see their doctor much less than women do,

maninpain1QGP Ann Robinson considers how to persuade them to visit.

The EOC report puts under the spotlight the fact that men between the ages of 16-44 visit their GP 50% less frequently than women from the same age group. This means that men run the risk of later diagnosis and treatment for serious illnesses.

Fewer men attend health checks and pay attention to advice related to the prevention of illness. GPs see far more women attending their surgeries than men.

A female child born in the UK in 2002 has a life expectancy of 81. A male child can expect to live five years less. Although there are likely to be many reasons for the discrepancy, receiving necessary medical care is surely one factor.

How can GPs encourage men to visit them? Flexible opening hours and walk-in centres will be popular and convenient.

One argument is that men prefer to visit male doctors, although as men get older this is less important to them. They also come to appointments with their partners and this is not necessary. The best advice is to let a companion wait outside and for the man to explain the problem himself.

Many men express the worry that they may be wasting their doctor's time. There is no need for this as they are the ones paying for the service. Any problem which causes a man concern is a valid one.

Men should be entitled to the same life expectancy as women.


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