A healthy second opinion

Australians are taking unhealthy risks on second opinions relating to an illness or medical condition, according to research conducted by MLC.

The research showed that while 35% of Australians visit a GP or doctor at the first signs of illness or feeling unwell, a concerning two in five Australians (44%) are more likely to get a second opinion on their health from a pharmacist, family or friends, the internet or work colleagues, over a doctor.

These results show people are gravitating towards other sources for advice on their health, rather than speaking with a medical professional who can accurately diagnose and treat their condition.

The notion of getting sound and thorough medical advice is at the heart of a potentially lifesaving service being offered to all MLC critical illness insurance clients.

Called Best Doctors, the service is the first of its kind in Australia, connecting people to leading specialists around the world for added peace of mind about their medical diagnosis and treatment.

Leading General Practitioner and Member of the Australian Medical Advisory Board for Best Doctors, Dr John Aloizos AM said, “It’s natural for people to want to discuss their condition with friends and family and use quick-fix options such as ‘Dr Google’.

“The danger is where people self-diagnose. A specialist opinion on our health should ultimately be left to the experts,” he said.

A nation of medical mouse-clickers

The survey also found a whopping 62% of respondents were likely to go online to research the treatment suggested by a doctor and see what other options were available.

“The findings suggest Australians are naturally curious about any medical diagnosis – and they should be,” says Dr Aloizos.

“But we’d caution about relying on the internet for second opinions because the information is often not reliable or could be misinterpreted.

“A second opinion offered through the Best Doctors service has been found to change the treatment of thousands of patients worldwide – sometimes saving lives,” he adds.

If you’d like to find out more about Best Doctors, speak with IWS adviser or visit www.mlc.com.au/bestdoctorstv