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Preventive medicine and the curse of common sense

Preventive medicine is used by doctors to maintain their patients’ health. This method focuses on the wellbeing of individuals, defined populations, and communities. The objective of preventive medicine is to protect, improve, and maintain health to prevent diseases, impairments, and death.

We go about our lives every day busy with work and chores, but when we get sick, doctors help us to get better. However, preventive medicine comes into play before the illness. Most medical practices concentrate on a single disease, age-group, or body parts/organs. These practices do not limit preventive medicine; this makes it an extensive field. This method is beneficial for many UAE residents because it helps to prevent obesity, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases.

What to know about preventive medicine?

All medical practitioners support preventive medicine, although some make this their specialty. This field focuses on the individual and the different factors affecting his health. Chronic diseases, such as heart diseases cause many deaths worldwide. This is why you ought to go for screening. When searching, doctor near me Dubai has many to choose. The physician also advises on a healthy lifestyle. Preventive medicine is practiced in and outside the hospital.

Preventive medicine and common sense

Preventive medicine is important because it minimises the rate of infections, diseases, and death. However, what most people don’t realise is that this method increases the cost of treatment. This does not mean that we should not practice this treatment because our health comes first. The factors below explain more.

Considering common sense

Let’s take a hypothetical disease Z and calculate its costs. If 2 out of 20,000 people contract the fatal diseases Z, which when not detected early could cost around US$100,000 for treatment of the 2. In its early stages, the disease costs US$5 for examination and treatment is US$20.000. If we examine and treat our 2 patients, we get to save US$100,000 - US$5 - US$20,000 = US$79,995 for each patient. This means that common sense surmises that preventive medicine saves money.

Chronic diseases strain both the patient and the health system. These conditions also lead when it comes to death rates putting a burden on the economy as well. It is necessary to find a doctor for regular screening, prevention, and monitoring of any condition. Diseases cost less when detected and treated earlier compared to late stages where it becomes difficult to handle the ailment.

Preventive medicine is important because it minimises the rate of infections, diseases, and death.

Extensive Testing

The issue with widespread screening is that we are unaware of the people who need screening.  Going back to our earlier example, we have to test all the 20,000 people. This means we have to spend US$100,000 to test every individual to find the one with disease Z. According to the example above, early detection would save US$100,000 for a single patient, but now we spend US$50,000 and US$20,000 to test and treat that patient. Our savings at this point are US$100,000 - US$20,000 - US$50,000 = US$30,000 instead of US$79,995, but we get to save something.

Visiting a doctor for regular screening is important, but extensive testing is also beneficial. Visiting your favourite dental clinic in Dubai is also necessary; even if your teeth are healthy. This is because oral health and heart disease have a connection. Advanced gum diseases increase the rate of developing heart disease. When you go for regular check-ups; your dentist can prevent and treat any dental diseases.

False positives

Let us assume that the test is not perfect, and we accidentally identify 2 healthy individuals as having disease Z. The treatment costs US$40,000, but we do not get to save any money since these people are not sick.

Latrogenesis

Going back to our example above, one of the two false-positive individuals develops complications from the treatment. Latrogenesis is the unintended consequences of well-intended medical practice. This condition can develop from a severe reaction to medication and therapeutic procedures.

We use US$30,000 to reverse this condition caused by the treatment. Our programme cuts out US$100,000 for treating 1 patient with disease Z. However, we need to use US$50,000 for analysis, US$60,000 for treating all 3 individuals, and US$30,000 to reverse the side-effects of the healthy person. We now have a loss of US$100,000 - US$50,000 - US$60,000 - US$30,000 = US$-40,000.

Preventive medicine can extend and improve the quality of life. However, the longer you live, the higher your chances of contracting even more costly diseases. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore or shun preventive treatment it shows that as we embrace this method, we should expect the expenses to rise. We all value our health and are willing to spend more to prolong our lives. A healthy individual is productive and able to provide healthcare for himself and his family. On the other hand, a sick person depends on others and cannot even pay the bills. In a nutshell, preventive medicine can be costly, but it is beneficial.

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