Matt Dobbie and partner Georgie Stewart from Little Mountain.
Matt Dobbie and partner Georgie Stewart from Little Mountain. Iain Curry

Sick women head to the doctor - men just keep on working

WHEN Georgie Stewart gets a cold, her husband Matt Dobbie, her GP and her boss are the first people to know about it.

When Mr Dobbie gets a cold, he goes out in the rain and builds a fence.

This Little Mountain couple embody the characteristics of new research, which shows Queensland men are too stubborn to seek medical advice while women are 10% more likely to stay at home than men.

Georgie and Matt are like chalk and cheese when it comes to how they deal with illness.

"I go to the doctor at the drop of a hat and Matt will go kicking and screaming if I have been onto him for two weeks about it," Ms Stewart said.

"I definitely stay home when I'm sick. The biggest thing for me is I'm worried about passing it on to other people at work.

"Matt says, 'I'm not sick', even though he's half-dead with a fever and coughing."

Mr Dobbie admits he did not visit the doctor or take a day off work unless he was in physical pain.

"When I have plans, I don't like them to be ruined so I just get on with it," he said.

The Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line research challenged the stereotype of the man-flu, in which men tend to overreact and expect to be cared for when ill.

It found while nearly half of women told their loved ones they were unwell, only 33% of men would tell their partner.

With Men's Health Week having begun yesterday, Medibank Health Advice Line medical director Dr Georgia Karabatsos said it was time for men to feel able to discuss more serious symptoms and seek treatment.

"The common cold and 'man flu' are often joked about, but for some this can lead to them feeling unable to discuss their health," she said.

"It is really important, as a nation, we don't let the Aussie male stereotype put pressure on the male population to stay silent about ill health or abnormalities."


>> The cold, hard truth

  • 62% of Queenslanders are likely to take the day off if they get a cold
  • Women are almost 10% more likely to stay home than men when sick
  • 83% of men say they aren't badly affected by colds and less than one in 10 expect to be looked after
  • 47% of women tell their loved ones when they feel under the weather.
  • 33% of men tell their partner if they have a cold and only 9% tell their friends.
  • 48% of men don't take cough or cold medicine

Source: Medibank 24/7 Health Advice Line research 

Are men tougher than women when they're sick?

This poll ended on 11 July 2013.

Current Results

Without a doubt


No, women are tougher


Toughness has nothing to do with gender


Pffft ... let's see them give birth


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

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