Men in UAE 'too embarrassed' or busy to visit a doctor, studies find

Surveys find almost one in two men in the UAE never talk to anyone else about their health concerns

Hispanic doctor examining patient with stethoscope. Getty Images
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Almost half of all men in the UAE say they are too embarrassed or do not have enough time to see a doctor.

Surveys, carried out by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi this month, revealed that more than 40 per cent of men have never been for a general health check-up unless prompted by symptoms.

In addition, more than half of men, 57 per cent, said they would only visit a doctor if they were suffering from a serious illness.

The main reasons given for avoiding the doctor was because men said they were either too busy, scared or not worried about their health.

“The results of this survey align with what we see every week at the hospital,” said Dr Zaki Almallah, a urologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

“Some men’s reluctance to get regular check-ups or discuss health concerns can mean that illnesses go undetected and problems left to develop.

“Early detection of disease saves lives and we hope this campaign encourages people to have regular check-ups.”

The first survey asked the views of 1,000 men and women about their attitudes towards visiting a doctor, while the second survey asked 1,000 men about their most recent visit to a physician and the type of health issues they seek help for.

Men were much more likely to say they were too embarrassed to visit the doctor than women, 12 per cent compared to six per cent.

Fewer than half the men surveyed, 49 per cent, said they would discuss their health with anyone else.

“Men tend to feel a great burden when it comes to health issues,” said Dr Almallah.

“There is pressure to live up to the idea of being strong, independent and to fill the role of provider and protector of their family.

“In practice, this means they shy away from mentioning health problems until they have no other choice.”

The survey was conducted as part of the hospital’s “MENtion” campaign that is aimed to encourage males to visit a doctor, especially if they were experiencing symptoms.