Only 3 out of 10 people get the medical checkups they need

  • Only 3 out of 10 people have all their medical check-ups on time; 4 out of 10 people alternate between social security and private medicine.
  • The main obstacles: the long process of requesting and closing appointments, loss of time in the face of a lack of urgency or medical necessity, forgetfulness and lack of information.
  • Experts offer a guide to medical checkups to be done depending on age, and their frequency

Barcelona, April 10, 2018.- Health care is an increasingly important aspect for Spaniards. Morning programs on TV dedicated to health have given way to new technologies, apps and online tools aimed at disseminating and monitoring wellness. As a result, society is developing a greater awareness of the need to keep fit and keep track of personal fitness. To analyze how this control is carried out, Top®, an online platform to find and contact the best medical specialists in private healthcare, audited and certified by the most rigorous selection process of doctors in the world, has conducted a survey on the habits around medical check-ups and requesting medical appointments, to a sample of 630 people from all over Spain.

Despite how difficult it can be to find time in the day to day to go to the doctor, according to the study data, out of every 10 people, 3 say they have all the necessary medical check-ups on time, 4 have the most important ones, 2 say they only have tests and check-ups when something hurts them and 1 says they do not have any check-ups at all.

We don’t know what check-ups to have and we are too lazy to make an appointment.

Although a large 80% believe in the preventive value of medical check-ups, there is a great lack of knowledge about the types of medical check-ups that need to be performed periodically. In fact, up to 66% of people believe that they do not have as many as they should, i.e. only 3 out of 10 claim to know and be fully up to date with check-ups and make the necessary doctor’s appointments. In addition, 6 out of 10 respondents believe that medical check-ups should always be done, regardless of physical condition or age, while 4 of them consider that periodic check-ups are necessary only if you have a certain pathology or age.

Among the main obstacles to going to the doctor, according to the study, are the long process of making and keeping an appointment (23.17%), the waste of time involved in these preventive measures as opposed to the lack of a sense of urgency or medical necessity (15.85%), forgetfulness (13.62%) and the lack of information on the specialists to be seen (8.13%). When asked, up to 20% of those surveyed confess to having missed, cancelled or postponed a doctor’s appointment more than three times. Up to 40% alternate between social security and private medicine when having check-ups, depending on the type of check-up they have to have.

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Most common medical check-ups among Spaniards

Both men and women are equally concerned about keeping a regular check on their health, and therefore make recurring appointments with the doctor for check-ups. According to the study, the different check-ups that Spaniards undergo by gender are as follows:

Guide to medical check-ups to be done according to age, and their frequency.

To make it easier for patients to manage their medical check-ups, the experts at Top Doctors have drawn up a list of the main medical check-ups to have according to age, as well as the frequency of each one.

  • Vision. In the words of Dr. Angélica Urda, from Magna Clinic Marbella and member of Top Doctors, “we should have annual check-ups from the beginning of schooling”. The control of visual capacity should be done annually regardless of age, unless the frequency has to be varied by medical prescription.
  • Dental: “there is no difference in check-up periods by age group, everyone should have annual check-ups. In the case of children, during the period of dental replacement, they should visit the dentist every 6 months and every 3 months if they follow the caries prevention program” assures Ana Antiñolo, specialist in Dentistry at Clínica Den and member of Top Doctors. “The dentist, in the annual checkup should check the plaque index, oral hygiene, the presence of pathologies and should also control the dental occlusion, the cause of craniofacial pain disorders as well as the wear and deterioration of the dentition”.
  • Cholesterol: Specialists recommend annual check-ups from the age of 18 to control cholesterol levels, except at medical discretion.
  • Colorectal: Annual check-ups should be done from the age of 40 or even earlier if there is a family history or any type of pathology.
  • Gynecology and urology. According to Gorka Barrenetxa, medical director of the Reproducción Bilbao center, “men and women should undergo gynecological and urological check-ups at the beginning of their active sexual life. But in addition, annual prostate check-ups or mammograms should be added, respectively, from the age of 40 onwards”.
  • Dermatology: “People between the ages of 20 and 35 are the ones who most often go to the doctor to have their moles, also known as nevi, checked for the appearance of a possible malignant melanoma. Those who have abused the sun throughout their lives also frequently go for a check-up for the same reason. In childhood, this type of check-up is carried out by the pediatrician and they go to the specialist in specific cases in which he or she may have certain doubts,” says Cristina Pascual Valdés, a specialist in clinical dermatology and laser therapy at the Hospital Universitario Dexeus in Barcelona.

Experts stress that the most important thing is to carry out periodic control of the different check-ups for the control, prevention and possible detection of different pathologies.