A GP is backing calls by health chiefs and urging people not to delay seeking medical advice because of fears about contracting coronavirus.
Dr Simon Gillson, from private Warwickshire-based GP service Concierge Medical, is concerned sick patients are not reporting potentially serious health problems during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
While he said he understands people’s worries, Dr Gillson warned they could be taking an even greater risk with their health by ignoring symptoms or waiting until the virus clears before asking for help.
Dr Gillson insisted: “It’s horrible being in the middle of a viral pandemic and I fully understand that people are concerned and cautious.
“However, in trying to avoid one risk, people may actually be gambling with their health on another front, by not seeking help early enough.
“There are sicknesses and health issues, like cancer for instance, where early diagnosis and treatment is vital. You just can’t afford to wait three months or more to contact your doctor in those circumstances.
“Yes, there are illnesses where a delay is not such a problem, where doctors can play catch-up, but there will be other consequences.
“If too many people delay reporting their symptoms until lockdown is over it will create huge backlogs in treatment which could take us years to work through.
“That’s why I’m urging people to still contact their doctor for help, advice and a proper diagnosis of the problem.”
Concierge Medical, which runs a home visiting service across Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire, is following UK government and World Health Organisation advice when caring for its patients.
Dr Gillson added: “We don’t want people sitting on their health problems in isolation when they should be talking to a doctor about them as soon as possible.”