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European Consumers Share a High Interest in Healthcare, but Hold Varied Views on Many Health Issues New TNS Healthcare Study Reveals Both Differences and Similarities in Health Views across Europe
Date:7/7/2009

or some health problems, the medicines consumers can buy are just as effective as those they would get from a doctor. In addition, 83% of UK consumers and 85% of UK doctors agree that it is important to be able to buy medicines without a prescription for minor ailments.

Findings Show Disagreement across Many Aspects of the Physician Relationship The TNS Healthcare survey reveals large differences among countries and between consumers and physicians in the same country on many aspect of the physician relationship. While 64% of consumers in the UK say that they would rather buy a medicine than visit a doctor, only 18% of that country's physicians agree. Spain comes out at the opposite end of the spectrum, with just 33% of consumers saying they would prefer to buy a medicine than visit a doctor--and only 10% of physicians agreeing. There also was broad disagreement on whether it is risky for people to treat minor ailments without seeing a doctor first. The percentage of consumers believing that it is very risky for people to self treat minor conditions ranged from 10% in the UK to 43% in Spain. On the physician side, respondents agreeing it is very risky ranged from just 4% in the UK to 49% in Italy. When asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that doctors are too willing to prescribe treatments for minor ailments, doctors in most countries are harder on themselves than consumers are. For example, in the UK, 43% of doctors but only 26% of patients agree that doctors too often prescribe treatments for minor conditions. France and Spain show a similar pattern, with 40% of physicians but only about a quarter of consumers agreeing.

500 Physicians and 2500 Consumers Provide Insight TNS Healthcare's results are based on an on-line survey of 500 primary care physicians (100 per country) and 2,500 consumers 18 and older (500 per country) in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The study
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