Prevention better than cure

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AT a guess I would say that most health problems are self-inflicted. I too am guilty for I was once a heavy smoker, I sometimes drank too much, and exercised little.

I am surprised the NHS didn’t treble my contributions. To my credit I did kick smoking by the time I was 40 and upon retirement drastically reduced my alcohol intake.

Exercise is a loathsome pursuit and I subscribe to sentiments expressed by Henry Ford. “Exercise, if you’re well there is no need to; if you are sick you shouldn’t.”

However, I do feel we and the health services could save money if from an early age we were encouraged to take more responsibility for our health.

I don’t mean hectoring but by providing the facilities and trained staff whose purpose is to prevent illness rather than cure the avoidable.

We pander to self-indulgence and then when health problems arise we suffer ailments. Imagine the money saved if contributions were redirected to preventative measures.

The NHS could sell off half its beds and make redundant most of the staff employed by Europe’s largest employer.

People take an interest in all manner of pursuits from theatre to holidays; many are sports enthusiasts but spectators rather than participants.

We ruminate and consider what changes we would make if we were elected to government.

My priority would be to quickly reassign much funding from remedial to preventative healthcare facilities and staff.

Maybe in the interim a penalty is imposed to separate those whose injuries are self-inflicted from the genuinely unfortunate.

This is a difficult one; who is the victim in a car crash, the idiot or those whom he has brought to ruin through his foolish behaviour?

I am told that most people die not because of their illness but on account of the ailment not being identified and dealt with soon enough.

In other words, we die not because we have an illness but because we delayed investigation and treatment.

Many readers are of similar age to me and not in the best of health. The dilemma is what we can do to help ourselves – plenty but we aren’t health specialists.

Would it be too much to ask for hospitals and health centres to provide a classroom session each week?

We need advice for dietary, exercise and preventative measures to ailments common to our age group.

Surely it is far better and cheaper to be advised as a group than one to one by an overworked GP. In this case, GPs might not be so overworked.

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