Preventative Healthcare is Essential


Lily Thivierge, Staff Writer

Healthcare is constantly changing. Every new generation has new technology and treatments that promise to make our lives better. The field of medicine is forever growing and revolutionizing how we live. Thanks to modern medicine, life expectancies have increased, infant mortality has decreased, and people don’t have to worry about dying from simple bacterial infections. While advancements in medical technology have undeniably revolutionized the field, our healthcare system still falls flat. 

Our healthcare system focuses on treatment rather than preventative care. At first, this doesn’t seem unreasonable, you go to the doctor when you’re sick to seek treatment, but why don’t we seek out preventative healthcare before we’re sick? This reactive approach to medicine causes many patients to wait until they are suffering to ask for help. 

Last summer I spent 3 weeks in and out of the hospital for a kidney infection. Typically when people have a bacterial infection, they get prescribed about two weeks of antibiotics, but because I waited to act, I was admitted to two different hospitals. I spent part of my summer vacation hooked up to IV’s as my health deteriorated and it could’ve been preventable. 

Preventative healthcare can save lives just like reactive healthcare, but without having to suffer. By focusing on prevention, medical professionals could diagnose and treat conditions earlier, stopping the problem before it escalates. 

One of the main reasons people avoid seeking healthcare in America is because of the costs. Here, it’s extremely expensive to seek medical help, so we wait until we finally have to go to the doctor, but that might be making the prices worse. Trying to treat severe illnesses or untreated chronic conditions can end up being more expensive than treating it early on. I can tell you first hand that getting antibiotics is much more affordable than my two ambulance rides and hospital bills. 

By focusing on prevention, medical professionals could diagnose and treat conditions earlier, leading to more cost-effective care and better patient outcomes. Preventative healthcare can be regular screenings like mammograms, physical exams, pap smears, blood pressure, and many more. Immunizations or vaccines not only help prevent the spread of a virus but can also protect the person from contracting the virus. Preventative steps can even be taken with lifestyle modifications. Being mindful about what you eat and exercise can also lower your risk of certain ailments like heart disease. 

The case for preventative medicine grows stronger by the day. Shifting the focus towards preventative measures can save patients from long painful nights in the ER, possibly reduce costs, and improve people’s health and wellbeing. Take charge of your health, get screenings, and don’t ignore the signs telling you you’re sick.