What is Preventative Medicine and Why is it Essential to the Future?

Posted by in What if...?

Until very recently, healthcare systems across the world have been reactive in nature. A person becomes ill and reacts by seeking treatment. Healthcare professionals and individuals now understand the need the change to a proactive healthcare model. This article explains what preventative healthcare is and why it is so important to the future of our global communities.

What is preventative medicine?

Preventive medicine means individuals and healthcare professionals work to prevent diseases before they occur as opposed to treating them. Our health is affected by environmental factors, genetic predisposition, infectious disease and lifestyle choices. Preventive treatment involves taking anticipatory actions to combat the development of a disease or injury.

Why do individuals need preventative medicine?

Each year, millions of people die of preventable deaths. A recent study showed that about half of all deaths in the US in 2000 were due to preventable behaviors and causes such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, accidental injuries, diabetes and known infectious diseases.

While there is much that healthcare professionals can do in terms of screening and monitoring to reduce our risk of developing diseases, there are considerable costs associated with such care as well. The most economically sustainable way forward depends on the actions of the individual. We must all take a proactive approach to improve our own health and reduce our risk for preventable diseases.

Why do communities need preventative medicine?

Most companies are already well aware that an investment in the health of employees increases productivity, reduces absenteeism and cuts the costs of health insurance. Governments will soon follow in these footsteps, as across the globe they are quickly reaching the point where managing healthcare costs is becoming near impossible.

According to leading economist Thierry Malleret, the global economy is seriously slowing in light of geopolitical crises, rising income inequality and climate change straining economies further than ever. On top of that, an aging world population will add more cost burdens. All of these factors will put economic pressures on countries like never before. Taking a preventative approach to healthcare is essential in order to secure a brighter economic future. As preventative healthcare costs are still considerable, governments will likely make citizens more accountable for their lifestyles choices.

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