Preventive Healthcare vs. Sick-care Delivery

Sick-care is similar to damage control, mostly people need sick-care in emergency conditions which leads to expensive treatments.

By Arindam Haldar,

During the medical revolution of the 1970s, prevention was seen as an effective way to keep people healthy. Healthcare professionals around the world have encouraged people to undergo routine health check-ups. But when it comes to preventive care in India, the exchange of cash that goes out of the wallet to avail of the services has always made an average Indian anxious. The bygone attitude to do health check “only when needed” has made health a secondary concern for almost the entire population and thus preventive treatment remains in the bay.

However, during the pandemic, people have become more conscious about health and hygiene. The medical sector has realized the criticality of wellness and prevention which lessens sick care burden. It’s my firm belief that people will slowly shift their focus on prevention and routine check-ups to get a snapshot of the body’s health status as it can excavate a hidden disorder and prevent its incidence by modifying the risk factors.

Even today, people have an assumption that preventive care is required only after a certain age when health is expected to deteriorate, and physical system starts becoming malfunctioning. The fact, on the other hand, is that fatal diseases like cancer and infections are becoming common among young generations. 2/3rd of deaths in the country are linked to NCD – lifestyle related disorders like diabetes, anemia, and cardiovascular diseases.

Over the course of time, individuals across the world have started modifying their views on health. People no more want to see themselves as patients, rather they want to lead a healthy life. Spending their hard-earned money on figuring out why they don’t feel good is not something anyone would prefer. Over decades, people have endured chronic illnesses due to our health care system that has not proactively supported a healthier lifestyle.

As part of a population health strategy, preventive care is to be promoted and it involves both clinical preventive measures and screening tests. No matter what your age or gender is, evaluating health via imaging studies or blood tests helps determine the overall well-being of the body. Preventing potential problems is one prominent way to control the utilization of curative care and enhance health outcomes.

Sick-care is similar to damage control, mostly people need sick-care in emergency conditions which leads to expensive treatments. Chronic diseases such as cancer or autoimmune disorders require an early diagnosis in order to improve the outcome by delivering treatment at the earliest possible stage. The main goal of sick care is to determine the course of treatment that would help reduce the illness whereas preventive care promotes wellness. It helps you to move towards a better lifestyle and prevent the recurrence of problems.

The cost of treating a medical condition is quite high, and it increases based on the severity of the disease. Leading hospitals charge a huge amount for common medical procedures, rendering health a cost to an ordinary citizen. Preventive healthcare reduces the probability of a disease being diagnosed, at a late stage – thus increasing chance of healing and ensuring lower cost of treatment. Screening procedures are often an early step and cost-effective process which can guide an individual about the health status.

Leading a healthy life is more important than demand for treatment. Individuals should start investing in maintaining a healthy lifestyle rather than spending a high amount on sick care.

(The author is CEO, Thyrocare Technologies. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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