Prevention versus treatment, which costs more to the health care system? what does this exactly mean when regarding the health care system?

Prevention versus treatment, what does this exactly mean when regarding the health care system?

This regards ways to prevent a specific cost to the health care system (i.e eat healthy and exercise to not experience high blood pressure) versus requiring treatment to manage a certain health condition (i.e taking blood pressure medication to manage high blood pressure).

Exercise, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices diminish chances of all-cause mortality (death) and having to deal with any health-related condition or disease such as musculoskeletal pains, heart disease, diabetes and so on.

Don’t get me wrong, if you lead a healthy lifestyle, you are still susceptible to experiencing pains or diseases as there are some risk factors such as family history or genetics that cannot be changed, but the risk will be much less.

I’m hoping that so far you have noticed that prevention will cost a lot less in the long run to the health care system comparing to treatment. Yes, money initially will need to be spent on education to the general public on what needs to be done to prevent pains and diseases, however the education will be regarding exercise and lifestyle choices, which are all free for the general public to utilise. Education can also be regarding early signs and symptoms of diseases so that the general public are more aware of when they may be developing the disease and what they can do to reverse the effects or how to monitor it themselves. An example of this is asking people to regularly monitor blood pressure and know what recommended blood pressure levels are.

As of current, the Australian healthcare system is biased towards the treatment model. If you go to your GP and are diagnosed with a lifestyle disease such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and so on, the first form of treatment will be medication.

But did you know that by just adjusting your lifestyle and exercise regime to meet a certain standard can have the same amount of effect in managing or treating disease?

Another thing that is unfortunate, is that when people are on their way to developing these sorts of diseases, they are not given the correct recommendations or educated about the correct health professionals to seek such as an Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist.

Hopefully over time, this trend will start to change. And it is already starting to look this way. There is definitely a lot of work to still be done. It may take a lot of push and acceptance from the health care community where medication becomes to last line of treatment instead of the first line of treatment especially when it comes to early onset of lifestyle diseases. It also will take dedication from the general public to implement these strategies but seeing how things such as smoking are on the decline and health awareness is growing, it may not be too far into the future after all.

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