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Research finds that almost 1 in 2 people have put off a doctor visit due to the cost

There is a knowledge gap for some young women when it comes to the efficacy of their contraceptive pill, as one fifth (20%) of women aged 18 -29 said believe they are still protected against unwanted pregnancy if they miss a day of their pill, despite 41% of the same cohort admitting that they do not know or are unsure of what they should do if they miss a day. That’s according to new research conducted by iReach on behalf of Lloyds Online Doctor.

The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 has had an impact on some women with respect to taking their contraceptive pill. While just under 1 in 10 of women overall (9%) stopped taking their pill due to restrictions and lockdown, this rose to 20% among women aged 30 – 39. Interestingly, the majority of women in this age bracket (62%) said they will not start taking their pill again now that restrictions are easing, while every respondent (100%) between 18 to 29 said that they would.

Cost is also a concern for more than a fifth (22%) of Irish women between 18 and 29, who have said they have been late renewing their contraceptive pill prescription because of the cost of the GP visit, and 27% have switched to another form of contraception due to cost of a GP visit and contraceptive prescription.

The research has also revealed that both cost and time are issues for many people when it comes to booking appointments with their doctor. Almost half of Irish people (45%) have put off a visit to their doctor due to the cost, with that figure rising to 54% for those aged 18 – 29, and to 58% for students. Most people in the 18 – 29 age bracket (71%), and 64% of students, struggle to find time to fit a doctor’s appointment into their schedule due to work or other commitments, both of which are higher than the national average (40%).

The research also explored key concerns re. erectile dysfunction (ED), as one in four men (24%) in Ireland admit to having experienced ED erectile, but only half of those have discussed it with their doctor (55%) or their partner (53%).

When it comes to men’s main concerns surrounding erectile dysfunction, ‘inability to have sex’ topped the list (43%), followed closely by ‘it’s embarrassing’ at 36%. Just 11% said they were most concerned about their partner’s reaction, while only 2% are most worried about their ability to conceive. Further highlighting the fact that embarrassment is a strong concern for more than one third of men, the research has also shown that the topic is not one the respondents are comfortable discussing, even with those close to them. Only 14% of those who have experienced ED have discussed it with their family, while just 5% have discussed it with their friends.

Today, Lloyds Online Doctor are also announcing the relaunch of their service, which offers patients confidential and convenient online consultations with Irish-based doctors. No appointment is needed to use the service, which provides flexibility and choice to people with busy schedules. To mark the relaunch of its service in Ireland, Lloyds Online Doctor is offering new and existing patients the opportunity to use the service at a reduced rate; with consultations at half price (€12.50) until 6th August 2021.

Services covered by Lloyds Online Doctor include:

  • Contraception
  • Erectile dysfunction treatment
  • Weight loss treatment

Discussing the service, Dr Kieran Seyan, Chief Medical Officer, Lloyds Online Doctor said, “With lockdown restrictions easing and many Irish people returning to a faster pace of life, some will also be returning to the familiar struggle of seeing their GP regularly to renew their prescriptions. Lloyds Online Doctor is a safe, affordable and convenient alternative for men and women who worry about fitting their GP visits into their busy schedules. The findings from this research highlight a clear need for an accessible and discreet service to men who have concerns around erectile dysfunction, and to provide women with an affordable solution to ensure they do not put off renewing their contraceptive prescriptions due to cost. We have a simple goal: to make Irish healthcare more accessible and more affordable.”

To use the service, patients complete a short medical questionnaire online at a time that suits them which is assessed by an Irish-based doctor who may provide a prescription for in-pharmacy collection, or if preferred, the paper prescription can be sent to the patient by post. All of Lloyds Online Doctor’s GPs are registered with the Irish Medical Council.

In January 2021 Lloyds Online Doctor’s service in Ireland was paused due to a change in the law linked to the end of the Brexit transition period.

To use the service, visit: https://www.lloydsonlinedoctor.ie/

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