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Women More Likely to Avoid Seeing a Doctor

Women More Likely to Avoid Seeing a Doctor

(epharmanews) – Although women suffer more chronic illnesses than men, they are less likely to see a doctor than men due to financial worries, according to a new study from Otago University, New Zealand.

Researchers analyzed the data from 18,320 adults who responded to a health survey that was part of Statistics New Zealand's Survey of Family Income and Employment.

The results, published in the Journal of Public Health Care, showed that nearly 20 percent of women said they postponed seeing a doctor compared to nearly 11 percent of men. Women were also more likely to defer collecting a prescription at least once during the previous year because they could not afford it.

If women had paid for a doctor’s visit, 8.2 percent would then skip paying for the prescription which came after it, compared with only 4.2 per cent of men who did the same.

"The results of this study are of concern not just because women are not accessing care when they need it, but also because women are frequently responsible for ensuring that children and elders also receive care," Said Professor Peter Crampton.

The results also showed that 26 percent of women cancelled their visits to dentists, compared to only 18.5 percent of men.

The study also highlighted other factors that affected people’s decisions to put off receiving health care. These factors include young age, low income, smoking and having more than two illnesses at the same time.

The research increased our understanding of the importance of gender when addressing inequalities in accessing health care, "particularly for those women who have less money than men". Crampton concluded.

He said providing free or very low-cost primary health care would help solve the issues.

"If cost barriers cannot be overcome, many women will remain at risk of receiving less timely health care."

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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro

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