Half of employees have cancelled medical appointments due to work commitments


More than half (52%) of employees have had to cancel or change medical appointments as a result of work commitments, according to research by AIG Life.

The research, which surveyed a representative sample of 2,008 working adults aged between 18 and 65, also found that only two-fifths (41%) found it easy to take time off work for medical appointments, while three-fifths (59%) felt guilty doing so due to the pressure it placed on other employees.

However, this does not appear to be an issue stemming from the employer; 72% stated that their bosses were flexible about time off for health appointments, while 39% had access to GPs with available appointment times outside of normal working hours.

The research did find that almost half (45%) of those surveyed work too far away from their GP to go during the working day; almost two-thirds (64%), meanwhile, would find accessing advice via video easier.

Alison Esson, propositions manager at AIG Life, said: “The cost of cancelled appointments is a drain on the NHS budget and causes real problems for GPs and their staff, despite efforts to be flexible. Yet we’re all so diligent about our jobs that people find it’s difficult to take time out of the working day to attend appointments because they worry about their workload and putting pressure on others.

“Coordinating busy lives with work pressure and appointment times can be a tough juggling act, with the inevitable risk that sometimes things get dropped. But technology can ease the strain. Video consultations with a GP, for example, can be a solution for many of us.”