How Educating the Public Can Help Us Reduce Rising Healthcare Costs

How Educating the Public Can Help Us Reduce Rising Healthcare Costs


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

How Educating the Public Can Help Us Reduce Rising Healthcare Costs

, How Educating the Public Can Help Us Reduce Rising Healthcare CostsThe cost of healthcare has been on a steady rise for several years now. Various factors have been cited as contributors to the rise in healthcare spending including failures in healthcare coordination, unnecessary imaging and treatment procedures, overtreatment, pricing failures, and defensive practices among others. Most of these cost drivers require a consultative approach from both the Government and relevant stakeholders, and to some extent, legislation in order to curb further escalation. However, there is one simple solution that is usually overlooked, and that is educating the public on matters affecting their health.

The Importance of Educating the Public on Healthcare Matters

1.    Preventive vs. Curative Healthcare

An old saying that holds true to date is that, “prevention is better than cure!”

It is a fact that most of the common ailments are actually preventable. An important part of earning a Master’s in Public Health is learning about educating the public on the best strategies that they can adopt to prevent various illnesses, as well as stop the spread of contagious diseases. An informed public is in a better position to take a variety of preventive healthcare measures to ensure that they are healthy, instead of waiting to fall ill so that they can seek medical attention. Some of these measures include:

  • Observing proper hygiene practices
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Regularly visiting a healthcare provider for routine medical checkups
  • Exercising

2.    Understanding Your Body and Health

One of the major reasons for the rising healthcare costs is the failure by people to seek medical attention in good time. For this reason, some of the diseases that might have been caught in their early stages and treated easily end up spreading to advanced stages, and cause a variety of health complications that are very difficult and expensive to treat. Examples are cancers and bacterial infections.

Educating the public about healthcare enables people to understand their body and how it functions. In addition, they learn how to recognize abnormal changes in the body and symptoms that might necessitate seeking urgent medical assistance. Some of these changes or symptoms include:

  • The presence of lumps in any part of the body
  • Unexplained or unexpected weight loss
  • Persistent fever
  • Persistent cough
  • Recurring aches and pains
  • Abnormal stools such as signs of blood

3.    Alternative Remedies

In past few years, the use of complementary and alternative medicine has grown significantly. This can be attributed to benefits such as reduced side effects and lower cost of using these remedies when compared to the use of conventional medicines and treatment techniques. Some of the most common remedies include the use of natural supplements, chiropractic care, mind-body therapy, massage, and acupuncture.

4.    Separating Facts from Myths

Public education clears the myths surrounding some of the complex diseases such as HIV and cancer, and other healthcare issues. This enables people to learn more on how certain diseases work, including their causes, diagnosis, spread and treatment. In effect, people get their facts right and seek medical attention, instead of relying on public perception.

5.    Volunteer Initiatives

Sensitizing the public on healthcare issues encourages people to volunteer and support disease prevention and other healthcare initiatives. People learn the importance of actively participating in programs that are aimed at improving their health and lifestyle, and at the same time, help others to protect their health. These initiatives go a long way in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.

6.    Home-based Patient Care and Disease Management

Most people do not know how to care for patients in order to hasten the recovery process. With public education, the community receives training on the ways to care for and handle patients appropriately, including palliative care. In addition, people are taught how to avoid contracting diseases, even as they care for the sick.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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