Almost two in three Britons do not have faith in their GP and 10 per cent of the public have panicked and asked accident and emergency departments to treat minor ailments, a survey has revealed.
The OnePoll survey by SAS, a data analysis software and business services company, questioned 2,000 people.
It found that respondents were tired of experiencing long delays before seeing a doctor and they felt that their doctor hurried the consultation.
The result is that many people now prefer hospitals to doctors, especially young people aged 18-24. More than 25 per cent of this age group said they would chose going to A&E over waiting to see a doctor.
Almost one in three respondents think that they would get more attentive care in hospital for any type of problem, while a similar number said that the only way they can see a doctor quickly is by exaggerating the seriousness of their complaint.
The poll did however show that more people are now diagnosing themselves online. Some 40 per cent of people look at the internet before going to a doctors or hospital to try to discover why they are ill.
But the poll has also highlighted a worrying trend among 10 per cent of respondents, who call an ambulance to take them to hospital when all they need is a GP appointment.
Meanwhile some 35 per cent of people are not even registered with a doctor’s surgery.
David Downing, director of health at SAS UK, said that a waiting time of up to a fortnight to see a doctor is making Britons frustrated and more likely to resort to going directly to hospital. This, in turn, puts pressure on hospital staff and facilities.
He added: “Currently it is a vicious circle that is putting both doctors and hospitals under huge strain. This situation is not sustainable and given the economic situation a new approach is needed. By harnessing big data through analytics, the health service could identify the underlying factors contributing to higher admission rates, and reveal new insights and patterns to help improve patient service.”