Difficulty in making an appointment with a GP means that hundreds of people are missing out on medical treatment, according to a new report.
Cancer Research UK conducted a survey of 2,000 people in October and November 2012, to find out how Brits react when they develop symptoms of illness.
The survey followed identical research carried out in 2010.
It discovered that difficulty making an appointment, fear, embarrassment and worry over wasting doctor’s time were all reasons people failed to visit their GP.
Since 2010, the number of people who had difficulty making an appointment increased from 36.7% to 42.7%.
In the same period, the number of people who said they were too scared to visit the doctor fell by 6% to 21.7%. Those who were embarrassed decreased from 15.5% to 14.4%.
Linda Summerhayes, Scottish spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: "The fact people now appear to be less scared or worried about what the doctor might find and be more knowledgeable about cancer symptoms suggests real progress in our fight to increase early diagnosis of the disease and prevent thousands of avoidable deaths.
"However, it's concerning to think that something as simple as making a doctor's appointment could be putting people off seeking help for a serious symptom."
"Further work is now needed to find out what lies at the heart of this issue - for example, whether people dislike not being able to see the same GP, if appointment times do not suit, or if the booking system is too complicated."
Health insurance will not cover the cost of a visit to a private GP. However, private GPs can be visited on a self-pay basis at hospitals and clinics throughout the UK.
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