Patients choose internet first for health advice
Tuesday 9th November, 2010
The internet has become the first choice for people seeking health advice and online self-diagnosis is saving the NHS millions pounds every year, according to a new report.
A study by Imperial College, London found that a third of people using www.nhs.uk would avoid visiting their GP afterwards as they had managed to self-diagnose their problem. Researchers stated this potentially saves the NHS £44 million a year. The same study also found that 70 per cent of patients go online to seek health information.
Health Minister Simon Burns said:
“Every day we use the internet and technology to organise our lives, and increasingly when it comes to our health.
“It is vital that every penny spent on the NHS counts, and the Imperial College research shows that tools like NHS Choices can help deliver savings.”
In response, Dr Knut Schroeader, a GP from Bristol, warned that while the internet is a great resource of health-related information, patients should ensure the source they use can be trusted.