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News / October 21, 2008

Routine healthcare costs delay dental visits

by Guy Hiscott

Irish families are finding the costs of primary healthcare too difficult to meet and increasingly stressful, so much so that they are putting off visits to the dentist and GP, according to new research published.

The survey, hosted by parenting web site on behalf of HSF Health Plan, found that:
• An overwhelming majority of respondents (86.4%) find it difficult to fund the cost of primary healthcare (dentist, GP and optician) out of the household budget, even though most respondents (85.3%) have private medical insurance
• Families believe they are finding it harder to stay healthy because of increasing costs of living and medical expenses (79.4% of respondents)
• Sixty-one per cent of respondents said they have had to make sacrifices with groceries to meet their healthcare bills.

Commenting on the results, Roy Smith of HSF Health Plan said: ‘It’s not surprising that the majority of respondents (66.8%) find the cost of routine medical expenses very stressful for their family.

‘A family of two adults and two children can easily clock up a bill for these costs of around €2,500 with eight visits to their GP, four prescriptions, twice yearly dental check ups, four fillings, chiropody visits and two pairs of glasses.’