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Reactive and Preventive Healthcare - Essay Example

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Over the years a serious debate as to the efficacy of reactive and preventive healthcare has been gaining grounds in North America. Reactive healthcare pertains to extending the apt treatment to a patient once one has developed a disease. On the contrary, preventive healthcare involves taking appropriate measures as to prevent the occurrence of a disease (Campos-Outcalt 4)…
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of the of the Concerned 20 January 2009 Reactive vs. Preventive Healthcare
Over the years a serious debate as to the efficacy of reactive and preventive healthcare has been gaining grounds in North America. Reactive healthcare pertains to extending the apt treatment to a patient once one has developed a disease. On the contrary, preventive healthcare involves taking appropriate measures as to prevent the occurrence of a disease (Campos-Outcalt 4). The crux of the matter is that preventive healthcare is better than reactive healthcare, as it involves a broad based approach to health and healthcare and is more cost effective in the long run.
The adherents of the concept of reactive healthcare believe that preventive healthcare is not a substitute for the reactive approach and does not in any way leads to a reduction in the cost of healthcare. Is it appropriate for an individual to show concern about one's blood pressure, once one suffers a heart attack Is it sensible to care about one's food habits and lifestyle, once a person develops a peptic ulcer Nearly 50 percent of the Americans suffering from chronic ailments could trace their maladies to faulty lifestyles and non-compliance with the lifestyle adjustments prescribed by the healthcare personnel (American Heart Association: Online). There is no denying the fact that in such cases, reactive healthcare is like purchasing an umbrella after the rains are over. This premise does not obliterate the relevance of reactive healthcare. Still, preventive healthcare is certainly superior, as it attacks a disease at its very genesis.
There are some facts, which command a general acceptance in the local and global medical community, and do not require any statistics to achieve credibility. It is a known reality that cigarette smoking causes cancer, heart diseases and a plethora of other ailments. According to the American Heart Association, in the period 2000-2004, approximately 443,000 US citizens died of smoking related illnesses every year (Online). Nobody today challenges the fact that junk food and calorie abuse causes obesity that leads to lifestyle related disease. Still, 144 million Americans could be safely qualified as being obese (American Heart Association: Online). Herein lays the validity of preventive healthcare. It does not cost much to quit smoking. All that it requires is some nicotine patches, apt counseling and lots of will power. Being calorie conscious also requires some basic knowledge about nutrition, right counseling and perseverance. It would be really financially propitious if the healthcare services and the affected individuals realize the importance of preventive measures in such scenarios.
A number of studies have time and again established that if the people suffering from chronic diseases are extended lifestyle correction prescriptions and if they follow them seriously, it leads to marked improvement in their health status and impressively curtails the healthcare expenses ( Health Care Problems: Online). Yet, a large number of Americans simply do not have access to preventive healthcare (Health Care Problems: Online). Perhaps, the vested interests having influence in the top echelons of power like tobacco and pharmaceutical lobbies and the related administrators and decision makers seem to be totally blind to the commonsensical appeal of preventive healthcare.
Preventive healthcare is about common sense, while reactive approach is about high costs and underestimating the pivotal role of the human factor in healthcare. Hence, preventive healthcare is conclusively the future of health management in the US.
Campos-Outcalt, Douglas. 20 Common Problems in Preventive Health Care. McGraw
-Hill Professional: New York, 2000.
"Health Care Statistics." Health Care Problems. Org. 20 January 2009 "Statistics you Need to Know". American Heart Association. 20 January 2009 Read More
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