Study: Long GP waiting times lead almost 50% of Burnley residents to consult Dr Google

With the NHS under increasing strain due to slashed funding, a new survey has found that almost half the residents in Burnley consult Google instead of their doctor when they have a medical issue, with 40% blaming long waiting times for GP appointments.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 10:09 am
Updated Thursday, 29th August 2019, 11:09 am
Plenty of Burnley residents are sick of long waiting times to see their GP

Investigating how many people choose to self-diagnose their medical issues online instead of seeing a healthcare professional, has conducted a survey of 3,000 Brits. The study has revealed that more people are doing just that despite almost a fifth (17%) of people feeling more anxious as a result of Googling their medical symptoms.

Anxiety over health information online is unsurprising given that many health conditions have overlapping symptoms increasing the potential of incorrect self-diagnosis which can cause panic. The term for obsessively searching the web for healthcare information that drives sufferers to repeatedly question their symptoms is called cyberchondria, which can even lead to depression.

In Burnley, women (59%) are more likely to self-diagnose their medical issues online instead of seeing a GP than men (39%), and - extremely worryingly - 18% say they would actually trust the internet more to diagnose their medical issues than their local GP.

Self-diagnosis rates across the UK

Home remedies are still adhered to by many, with 65% of people preferring to use a natural remedy to help with minor medical issues than take medicine. Keen to explore the potential of alternative medicines two in three Burnley residents believe more money should be invested in less conventional remedies within the NHS itself.