As a health professional, mother, wife and daughter of seniors, what worries me most about the healthcare system in our country is that it has created a disease culture. The major topic of discussion in many of our homes and social circles relates to some form of health care — my MRI, getting an appointment, finding another doctor, what the insurance will or will not cover, drug reactions & interactions, surgery, screening, biopsy and diagnosis. We are sick, have been sick, or soon will be sick. We live lifestyles that move us from chronic disease to chronic disease. Most people over 40 years old average 2.5 pharmaceuticals or more. We are extending life due to medical advances, however the quality of life for many is not good.
Our young people think old age and sickness come bundled together into an inevitable fate. I believe that old age and sickness are not synonymous. It is clear why no one wants to get old.
A paradigm shift to a healthy lifestyle culture must be a critical part of the healthcare solution. All the facts indicate that 70% of the chronic diseases in the U.S. are preventable and are lifestyle related. This means that intervention can be made! We the people can change our minds and start taking better care of our families and ourselves. We can be motivated to do so!
We must also consider the nations food supply. As Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food “. Our food supply in general is great in volume and availability, however the nutritional quality is questionable and must be seen as the first line of defense for disease prevention and good health. More regulation and oversight will be needed to encourage the food industry to be more responsible for the 3000+ calories of food it produces for each American per day.
And finally, we need a new team of wellness and disease prevention experts to work in parallel to the existing infrastructure. If the horseshoe maker had been asked to develop the model T automobile, it would have never happen. We cannot ask the medical community to eliminate or reduce the demand for its services.
Our solution to the healthcare crisis must be one that helps the sick regardless of their ability to pay and develops a strategy for a healthy America. We cannot just throw more money at a broken system, which will provide a small band-aid at best and does nothing to eliminate the disease culture in which we find ourselves. Good health is common sense and common sense is not expensive.