Urgent plea amid spike in women cancelling check-ups
WOMEN across Ipswich are being urged to put their health first after new data revealed a staggering amount either postpone or cancel vital medical appointments.
A new study by Specsavers this week showed about 81 per cent of females – or more than 130,000 patients – cancelled due to time constraints.
Optometrist Paul Jewitt, who works at Riverlink, said it was concerning that many women did not prioritise their own health.
He said a variety of factors often contributed to cancellations, including family and romantic commitments as well as conflicting work schedules.
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“We see this often in practice, putting family first is understandable, but you also need to put your health first as well,” Mr Jewitt said.
“What’s more interesting is that a lot of women are cancelling appointments and moving them, but 17 per cent aren’t even coming back at all.”
Data also revealed 40 per cent of Queensland women delayed making an appointment for a month or longer after receiving a reminder.
Twenty-one per cent of them never booked an appointment after receiving a reminder.
“Millennials were the biggest culprits which is understandable as they’re busy raising families, meanwhile Gen Z was second worst,” Mr Jewitt said.
“Interestingly enough they will still bring the kids in for an eye test, but they won’t bother to do the same for themselves.”
Excessive time spent on devices by both generations only furthered the need for regular eye check-ups.
Mr Jewitt said lack of check-ups had left many women susceptible to diabetic retinopathy, glaucomas and cataracts – all of them treatable if detected early.
“If you look back the past couple of years one in 25 women were getting referred (to optometrists), now it’s about one in 15,” he said.
“If women aren’t presenting, then we can’t pick up many eye diseases which are commonly Asymptomatic.”
Last year recorded a 3 per cent dip in eye tests for females, with COVID-19 also a likely contributor.
“With new diagnostic equipment that we’ve got over the last couple of years, the increase chance of us picking up early eye disease has been exponential,” Mr Jewitt said.
“All we’re really pushing for is for women just to have that regular check-up.”
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.