Medical

How to get a health checkup without the doctor

A lot of doctors, especially those in private practice, have trouble getting a health visit without a doctor, especially in the US, according to a new report from The Times Of India.

The report, based on surveys conducted by the National Women’s Health Network (NWNH), says that one in five health professionals (20 per cent) and one in four doctors (24 per cent), have difficulty getting a visit without having a doctor.

Among the top reasons for difficulty are fear of being misdiagnosed (30 per cent of respondents), the inability to get information about their patients (27 per cent and 24 per cent respectively), and not knowing their rights and responsibilities (26 per cent).

Women are often denied a right to have a health consultation or medical test if they have already been given a referral by their doctor.

They also face obstacles in accessing basic health services.

A third of women (34 per cent or 23 per cent for men) and almost half of the doctors (44 per cent women and 36 per cent men) are unaware of the requirements of health insurance.

According to the report, a doctor can only prescribe one treatment per week, while in India, more than half of all doctors prescribe three or more treatments a week.

In the US and the UK, a third of doctors have no access to an office to consult with patients, and the rest of the country has fewer doctors than the UK.

According the NWNH, only 3 per cent in India (3 per cent, out of 5 lakh doctors) and 2 per cent (1 per cent out of 2.2 lakh doctors in the country) have a referral form that would allow them to get an appointment without a referral.

In India, nearly 50 per cent respondents (48 per cent female and 42 per cent male) are in denial about their rights, and many feel they do not have to seek help from their doctors.

They feel that they are just being asked for a referral, without even asking their questions, and that their doctor has no authority to refer them to other doctors.