Preventive healthcare is something we need to plan and execute ahead of time, even if we are not sick. Dr Aditi Kalra, Physiotherapist and Founder, Proactive Health 360, shares insights
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the prevention” – Thomas A Edison
Did you know that according to a shocking statistic revealed by the ministry of road transport and highways, around 15 people die in car crashes in India every day because they refuse to wear a seatbelt?
Let us take a minute and think about this chilling statistic. If simply putting on a seat belt can save the lives of more than 500 people per month, then why are we ignoring this preventive step?
In India, a disappointing 9.6 per cent of the overall healthcare expenditure goes towards preventive healthcare, and about 90 per cent goes into treating diseases and their complications—amounting to more than Rs 3.6 lakh crore per year. Medical care is extremely expensive. Why spend the money on treating preventable diseases and their complications when prevention is far easier and cheaper?
We start thinking about our health only when illness strikes or we exhibit some symptoms which affect our daily schedules or become a hindrance on our productivity. Preventive healthcare is something we need to plan and execute ahead of time, even if we are not sick.
The good news is that people are becoming more aware of their health. The $55-billion preventive healthcare industry is expected to take off over the next four years, growing at a CAGR of 18 per cent to become a $106-billion opportunity by 2022, outpacing the consumer retail-spend growth rate. However, more needs to be done to increase awareness for preventative care.
Preventive care isn’t just a trending thing, but is the only thing that can help you stay healthy and live a quality life. If making a few amendments in your lifestyle can add more healthy years to your life, then it is worth it. Eating right, exercising regularly and avoiding hazardous substances like tobacco, alcohol, extreme proportions of sugar and salt are noteworthy, as is getting enough rest each night. Let us put it this way- a healthy lifestyle is our armour, we need to maintain it, and protect ourselves.
Another important aspect of preventive healthcare is identifying disease at an early stage or delaying its onset. This can be easily done by getting regular preventive health screenings even when you are thinking yourself to be completely healthy. It is critical to get educated and informed about the possible illness, their manifestations, and what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, it is critical to visit your physician routinely. One’s ignorance can lead to loss of life and cause immense physical, mental and financial distress to the individual and his family.
Today, the fast paced and hectic lifestyle has given birth to many lifestyle disorders. It is time for us to pause and think about what care alternative we need to adopt – prevention care or the reactive care?
Preventive healthcare is the need of the hour and turns out to be inexpensive and beneficial. Taking preventive steps towards one’s health can save us from the excruciating side effects, pain and expenses that come with the treatment of diseases at later stages. We have the chance to live a quality life, brimming with vitality and vigour.
We need to change our mindset which is currently biased towards reactive care. We are stuck in a rut where we would prefer not to act until our indications drag us to the emergency room.
Nowadays, there are insurance plans which advise and emphasise regular health check ups, yet we are hesitant to even consider implementing this change.
Exploit the preventive benefits that your insurance agency offers; truly, these organisations are glad to cover preventive medical costs since they have the data that demonstrate the financial benefits of prevention.
Currently, India is home to 90 million Health Conscious Individuals (HCIs), which is set to increase to 130 million by 2022. However, a larger segment of HCIs still consists of individuals who are well aware of fitness and wellness needs, but are only making limited efforts to address them.
Here are a few tips to start with:
- Incorporate daily walk in your routine
- Have a proper and balanced diet
- Maintain self hygiene
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Exercise three or four times a week
- Use sunscreen when going out in Sun
- Reduce the intake of oily and fatty food
- Regularly visit your doctor
Set aside the effort to educate yourself about your health risks. In particular, start addressing your unhealthy habits today. Good habits take time; but once you adjust, it’s all worth it. You will thank yourself later- because the best day to start thinking about your health is ‘today’.