Average GP works six days a year whilst feeling ill
23rd January 2008
82 per cent of GPs have gone to work sick in the past 12 months
The average GP works six days a year when they are feeling ill despite the possible health risks for them and patients, new research* carried out by Benenden Healthcare Society, the mutual healthcare provider, shows.
Indeed just 18 per cent of GPs quizzed say they’ve not gone into work in the past 12 months feeling ill showing the work pressures on GPs. Around 82 per cent have worked while feeling ill with seven per cent working more than 15 days in the past year while feeling ill.
The nationwide poll of 100 GPs found 85 per cent say their job is stressful with 24 per cent of those saying it is very stressful. And the pressure is being felt in the need to go into work while not feeling well, Benenden Healthcare believes.
Jill Gardiner from Benenden Healthcare said: “GPs’ professionalism and devotion to their jobs is commendable but devotion to duty can go too far.
“Going to work while feeling ill is risky particularly when they are seeing ill people all day. GPs are under a great deal of pressure with heavy workloads but they should take time off when they are feeling unwell.
“Unfortunately however the high levels of stress felt by GPs show that many are unwilling to take time off when they could be at work.”
The research found just two per cent of GPs said their job was not at all stressful while 13 per cent said it was not very stressful.
Two-thirds of GPs have not taken any time off work in the past 12 months with the average number of days off for sickness just 1.5. However if GPs took all the time off they should when feeling ill the average would rise to 7.5 days.
Around two per cent of GPs say they’ve worked one day feeling ill while another 49 per cent say they’ve done up to five days feeling unwell.
* GfK Healthcare interviewed a representative sample of 100 GPs via GP Net from around the UK in November 2007