Start Making Sense Let’s Use Prevention, Part 3
Many times patients and their families are under much stress and are poorly informed about the disease and can only give themselves over to the medical system, too ill, stressed and insecure to question it, but hope that they can trust that the best thing is being done.
Patients and families need to be given much more counsel and advice about end-of-life decisions well in advance of terminal situations so they can make more rational decisions about treatments which do not relieve suffering or improve quality of life, and those decisions made by the patient and family need to be respected when the situation rises.
Medical treatments that have proven benefit need to have continued financial reimbursement, but a large investment needs to be made for preventive measures. This latter can be seen as an investment in the future, as they will give much greater financial return after the medical costs have come down due to less demand for medical treatment because of healthier people.
Systematic, organized educational and training programs that are adaptable to various regions, age groups, and other sub-population group’s can be designed and implemented to facilitate healthful changes in lifestyle. This would be part of what truly could be called a ‘health care” system. This could be paid for by insurance for people who choose this program of prevention. These programs would be implemented in conventional doctors offices, clinics, and alternative medicine clinics.
Another part of revamping the financial incentives would be to offer discounted health insurance premiums to those subscribers who participate in the training and education programs. People who have clearly hereditary risks for disease would not be penalized with higher premiums, but people with high-risk diseases could be charged higher premiums but concurrently would be given a discount related to that disease if the person was participating in preventive programs intensely focused on that particular disease or problem.
There seems to be an attitude in the medical profession that people are just stubborn, that only a small % of people will actually change their health habits and lifestyle.
People do change their eating habits and activities if given half a chance. If people are shown the practical ways of making healthy changes more easily and if given an informed choice, they will often choose to reduce long-term risks. Especially if they can feel the difference in just 2 weeks, a sense of aliveness, well-being, better function, fewer pains, and more energy, this is the best motivating factor of all. Many times people will be willing to participate in a short 2 week introductory program long enough to feel the benefits, and will get ‘hooked” on feeling better, which they didn’t realize was possible.
Suppose people are presented with this choice: “If I give you this drug that can make you feel better quickly but temporarily, and which can make you feel worse if used over a long period of time and could kill you.” Would you prefer that, or would you rather learn about doing things that require some effort end planning and resetting of priorities, actions that could eventually cause your pains to disappear permanently and help you to have a healthier life in many other ways?
Most people feel overwhelmed by themselves without that important support. They feel resistant toward making changes and feel harassed by messages that they should live their lives differently without the education and training necessary. They end up feeling guilty and more resistant to change. The key, then, to healthy changes is education.