A study by health communications consultancy Pegasus of 500 people aged 16-23, an age group also known as generation Z, and 500 people aged 54-72, also known as Baby Boomers, was done to compare their opinions on healthcare.
The belief of both groups in the importance of the NHS was demonstrated with 69% of Generation Z and 72% of Baby Boomers being worried about the future of the NHS. 59% of Generation Z compared to 28% of Baby Boomers said that Brexit would have a negative impact on the NHS.
The study also found that 72% of Generation Z say they have a lot of respect for doctors and specialists, and 53% would always go to the doctor when they feel ill for longer than a few days. However, 41% of Generation Z agrees or strongly agrees that they feel their doctor dismisses them, as if they are imagining or exaggerating their symptoms.
Health psychologist and co-author of the report Dr Anna Baker stated on this:
“Gen Zs demonstrate a strong social conscience, and we see this reflected in their feelings towards the NHS as an institution… Generation Z sees the importance of caring for their health and engaging with HCPs, but appear to have more negative experiences. This could be influenced by direct experience but also potentially by a heavy reliance on using online resources to access information.”
60% of the Generation Z group said they consult Google to check symptoms before making an appointment with a GP, compared to just 31% of Baby Boomers, although whether this is to help them to decide whether an appointment is necessary or just for information before going to the appointment is not reported.