Medical appointments could be costing the UK economy more than £10bn in lost working hours each year, according to research.
A poll of 2,000 working Britons found they missed an average of four days of work each year in order to seek medical advice.
Based on the average wage of those in full-time work, this missed time equates to £437.76 per person per year.
Across the full-time working population of more than 23 million Britons in the UK, that adds up to over £10.1bn.
The study, commissioned by health provider Benenden Health, also found that more than a third felt “guilty” about taking time off work to visit the doctor.
In addition, one in five people who suffer from a chronic medical condition have kept it a secret from their employers.
Benenden Health’s chief commercial officer Helen Smith said: “For those that work full-time across normal office hours, it’s almost inevitable that you might need time off work to visit a doctor.
“With a mixed bag in how employers approach time off work for medical appointments, tackling our health concerns could be having a huge effect on the economy.”
She added: “Proactive employers will recognise the value of good health and wellbeing and have developed strategies that put their people at the heart of their business, but sadly some employers fall short.”
More than seven in 10 workers think their local doctor’s surgery or GP should increase its opening hours to improve accessibility for workers, according to the OnePoll research.