Two in five patients can't afford to pay for a visit to GP - report
Almost two in five people cannot afford to see their doctor, a new survey has shown.
The research, carried out to mark the launch of Cancer Week Ireland, showed high cost prevented some 39pc of those surveyed from making an appointment with their GP.
The Irish Cancer Society are now warning that people could be missing out on life-saving early treatment for cancer by not visiting their doctor sooner.
The survey asked 1,000 adults whether any of a range of possible reasons had stopped them from going to visit their doctor.
These ranged from cost, to fear, anxiety and embarrassment about their condition.
Some 42pc of those surveyed said they have been too busy to visit their doctor in the past, with 35pc saying they had "too many other things to worry about" to make an appointment.
Some 27pc of people cited embarrassment, fear (25pc) or a lack of confidence (25pc) in talking about symptoms as a barrier for going to their doctor.
Almost three in 10 (29pc) were too worried about what their doctor might find if they were to visit them.
One in five (20pc) were put off because they felt it would be too difficult to talk to their doctor about the issue or symptom.
The society's CEO Averil Power said early diagnosis of cancer can be the difference between life and death.
"The Irish Cancer Society does a huge amount of work to inform the public about the early warning signs and symptoms of cancer so that they can get them checked out as soon as possible.
"It's disappointing to see the range of barriers that are stopping people from taking action when it comes to their health," she said.
"No-one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed when it comes to talking about their health.
Nor should cost be a factor in accessing professional medical advice."
Cancer Week Ireland 2018 will take place from Monday, September 24, to Sunday, September 30.
Initiated by the Irish Cancer Society and Trinity College, Cancer Week Ireland seeks to people talking about cancer, prevention, early diagnosis, better treatment and life after treatment.
For more information, visit cancerweek.ie.