In many countries today, it is becoming clear and clearer that pumping money and other resources in health care services is not enough to deal with the demanding health issues of the population. However, some countries and states continue to pour resources in health care services unaware that prevention is better than cure. Many diseases in the world even some that have no known cure can be prevented long before thy take a strong hold on the victim. Many governments have been using a lot of money to buy medical supplies for health centers besides other medical things to deal with cases of illness (Lawrence, 1998, p. 78).
However, it has been argued that governments should adopt a new paradigm in the health field which includes the adoption of measures and policies which aims at preventing diseases rather than providing treatment. It should be noted that resources must be provided for health care centers and other health treatment facilities but the governments should focus its resources to prevention measures in an effort to reduce cases of illness especially to those diseases that can be prevented well before they occur. While some regions have no prevention measures while others have adopted measures that are less effective, some countries and states have strong measures and effective strategies that have helped reduce disease prevalence and at the same time reducing the costs associated with treatment.
On the other hand, while it can be seen as the duty of the government and other health care provider to provide protective measures, it is the duty of each and every individual to adopt measures that will reduce vulnerability to diseases. An individual as with the case of the government undergoes various costs while dealing with an illness and thus needs to take measures such as eating a proper diet or exercising to reduce disease prevalence and the overall costs encountered while seeking treatment. In essence, there are various reasons as to why the governments, individuals and health care providers should adopt protective measures other than waiting to seek and offer treatment (John, 1998, p. 45).
To start with, numerous resources are involved while offering treatment to various illnesses. The government uses a huge amount of tax payers’ money to provide medical supplies to health care services and also to employ health personnel to oversee treatment of various diseases. Further, the government has to provide enough heath facilities all at the expense of taxpayers’ money. On the other hand, the individual undergoes various costs while seeking medical care. For one, the individual will undergo monetary cost unless the health facility in which he or she seeks the health services is a public one and fully sponsored by the government. While this may be true, many health care services provided by government sponsored health centers are not entirely free and require an individual to pay a small amount of money before being attended to. Despite the fact that costs are involved in prevention of diseases, these costs cannot be compared with the huge costs involved in offering health services to the sick (Stephen, 1997, p. 102).
Prevention campaigns and other information provision strategies demands the use of tax revenue by the government but this may turn out as a benefit to the government in the long run. Prevention campaigns and vaccination may cost the government taxpayers’ money but curing diseases is the ultimate consumer of public funds. If funds are used in preventing a certain disease, a lot will be saved in respect to low prevalent rate of the disease in question in the future. As such, the government can be able to concentrate on other development projects by injecting some of the money previously used for health care services to this other projects. This may also hold for an individual. Money used by an individual while seeking health care services may be useful for other purposes that improve the overall living standard of that individual. In essence, the cost associated with prevention measures may turn out to be beneficial to an individual just as it would be in the case of the government.
Moreover, prevention helps in avoiding the occurrence of diseases that can turn out to be threatening in future. For example, there are some diseases that need earlier vaccination to avoid occurrence in future since such an occurrence may prove dangerous or even better, life threatening to the individual in question. Diseases such as poliomyelitis and measles require vaccination to prevent the actual occurrence of the same in future in the context that such an occurrence may maim or kill the patient. Moreover, containment of some diseases may prove impossible in future thus requires conscious action of not only the government but also individual concerned. Diseases such as diabetes may be prevented through proper diet and exercise but if it occurs, it may prove unmanageable and may eventually kill the host. Other diseases may also prove unmanageable in future and require prevention measures long before they occur (Berman, 2001, p. 1175).
Still, a lot of time is used is wasted while seeking medical care and at other times, the patient may be too weak to participate in anything else while under treatment. Human resources are vital for the development of any economy and when the productivity of these resources is jeopardized, the economy is also as risk. While seeking medical care, individuals waste a relatively huge amount of time which could have been used for productive purposes. For example, if a person is hospitalized and admitted in a hospital awaiting further medical tests or care, such an individual is unproductive to overall performance of the economy. Some diseases such as poliomyelitis which can be prevented at an earlier stage may totally incapacitate an individual making him a dependant in the society. Time used by government officials while addressing issues related to medical supplies and other related issues is also important for developmental purposes. While involvement in prevention measures may also require a substantial amount of time from the government, the private sector and others actors in the society, it is more productive in that it will help the government not only to contain the occurrence of a given disease but to also save money for developmental purposes (Frank, 1992, p. 56).
In conclusion, while it requires the government the government to use resources in prevention of diseases through such things as campaigns and provision of important health information, this spending is beneficial in the long run and far much less than the cost associated with health treatment services. Prevention of diseases is not a sole role of the government but requires the participation of the individuals in a society and the private sector. As often said, prevention is better than cure.
Berman S. (2001). Management of otitis media outcomes related to language, behavior, and attention: is it time to change our approach? Pediatrics. Vol. 107. p.1175
Frank G. (1992). Coronary Heart Disease Prevention. United States, Informa Health Care, p. 56
John Williams (1998). Taking cold, the cause of half our diseases, its nature, causes, prevention and cure. Oxford, Oxford University Press, p. 45
Lawrence M. (1998). Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, 1998: a Lange medical book. London, Routeledge Publishers, p. 78
Stephen J. (1997). Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment. United States, Appleton & Lange, p. 102