Young adults prefer internet over doctors for sexual health

A third of respondents also said they turned to the internet or friends for advice because it was too difficult to get a doctor’s appointment, although an equal number said a health professional was always the first point of contact.

One in five admitted misdiagnosing themselves as a result of their own efforts to seek medical information online, the survey for the Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line found. 

The service’s medical director, Dr Georgia Karabatsos, said their trained registered nurses decide if symptoms need medical attention and often assist callers in making an appointment.

“A credible health professional needs to be the first port of call for all health advice,” she said, launching their Talk to an Expert Week.

“The internet and your mum are not doctors, so we are calling on all Australians to put an end to misdiagnosis and talk to a qualified health professional.”