Preventive Health Care: What it Entails (Part 2)

Richard A. Kimball, Jr.
Richard A. Kimball, Jr.

In the previous blog post, I talked about the need for a paradigm shift in healthcare – from a curative or treatment-based approach to a preventive one. This time, I will discuss the steps that such a shift entails.

Investment in Health Promotion. The U.S. government should invest in health promotion efforts right in the communities.  This may feature sports development programs for the youth, or wellness programs for the elderly (and may consist, for instance, of building a gym that requires no fees, or of sponsorship of group dance or book club meetings) as well as screening centers for adults. Cancers, sexually-transmitted diseases, and cardio-vascular diseases are just some of the conditions that are important to “nip in the bud,” because of their progressive nature. If detected late, treatment is much harder, and the body gradually becomes too weak to admit heavier doses of medication, or fight the spread of the disease. People often forego testing because screening centers are usually intimidating, not accessible, and the procedures are expensive. Equipping communities with such facilities will go a long way in encouraging people – especially those from low-income groups – to be screened, and in the end, prevent their health problems from worsening.

Industry Monitoring. The government should strictly implement standards regarding products that impact on people’s health, such as medicines, alcohol, tobacco products, and unhealthy food items. Are cigarette packs and alcoholic beverages appropriately labeled so as to discourage people from buying these addictive products? Are their advertisements regulated to minimize impact especially on the young? Are soft drinks, junk food, and other unhealthy food items prohibited in schools? Do food manufacturers reveal their ingredients and their nutritional value so that people can make wise food decisions? These are just some of the questions that the government must be able to address if it is to promote healthy habits among the people – from the young age.

Comprehensive Information Dissemination. The people should know their rights with respect to health care, and learn to value health and wellness. If the people are equipped with such knowledge, they will be the government’s valuable partner in monitoring; they can be expected to report if the farm produce were not inspected, if they were treated with harmful amounts of pesticides and other chemicals. Or if certain bars and restaurant are not very strict in ensuring that those aged below 21 are unable to procure alcohol. Then, the people should receive regular, comprehensive, and accessible information about the healthy choices they can make to prevent diseases – from where to buy good food, and how and where to achieve the benefits of regular exercise.

3 Responses

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    Jack D.

    You’re right. Preventive health care is the key to the prevention of diseases which are sometimes the result of poor diet, malnutrition and bad lifestyle. But there are other factors beyond individual control. Pollution and the degradation of our environment have great impact on the food we eat and the air we breathe. Much of the waste that contaminates water, soil and air eventually goes to the food we eat.

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    Jack mentioned that our environment plays a factor into what we consume, and he’s definitely right. Environmentalists are doing what they can to assist, and all we can really do is each help do our parts. There should be more laws on this front to force people to help.

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    Jani F.

    You mentioned controlling substances that aren’t good from us such as alcohol, cigarettes, and found that isn’t good for us, too. Recently, CVS stopped selling cigarettes, but they continue to hold an abundance of alcohol and junk food. Too many people focus on just cigarettes and not the entire threshold of things.

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