As nearly a third people report having problems going to the doctor related to fear or trauma based on bad experiences, providing healthcare has its challenges.
Even with a robust preventative care system like Canada has, there are hurdles. However, preventative care can help save money and keep people healthy, even during cold and flu season.
Here are five reasons why preventative care matters when you're trying to manage your healthcare costs.
1. Creating a Culture of Wellness
Canada's healthcare system does more than just provide access to doctors. If you talk to someone from the United States and then someone from Canada, you'd quickly realize that they think about healthcare differently. The way that Canadian culture is affected by our healthcare system is hard to overstate.
In Canada, our healthcare system creates a culture of wellness. Where in some countries, no one talks about their health, their diet, or exercise, we talk about it openly. Doctors don't have to mince words with us about our health like in some other regions where people might be offended.
We know the importance of a good diet and exercise. Our foods don't have as many processed ingredients as we would find south of the border. Even the ones that do aren't consumed at the same rate as they are in the States.
Health and wellness are taught in schools and throughout our lives. When we have a culture that privileges spending time outdoors as we have in Canada, we make it easy for everyone to stay healthy. When we have healthy lifestyles, we're making an unconscious preventative care decision.
2. Making People Comfortable With Doctors
One of the things that happen in countries with less comprehensive healthcare is that people are afraid of doctors. When people are afraid of doctors, they're less likely to get the care they need. They won't consider preventative care and will only see a doctor in extreme cases.
When you're comfortable with your doctor, you can ask all kinds of questions about your care and talk openly about your lifestyle. Doctors are trained to listen to the details of your daily routine and to help you find ways to keep yourself in good health. They can also make other suggestions and recommend medications to keep any current conditions from getting worse.
It's important to be comfortable with your doctor. When you can't speak openly or you fear their care, you won't be asking the right questions. When you're not offering enough information about your current status, you risk small problems getting much worse.
Preventative care offers comprehensive care, which makes it one of the most powerful elements in Canada's healthcare system.
3. Catching Problems Before They Take Off
Doctors and preventative care specialists are on the front lines of every potentially major health problem. They will catch a potential public health crisis before it becomes a problem and make sure it doesn't grow. The problems that one person can have could easily be part of an epidemic if precautions aren't taken.
Preventative care specialists can also notice trends that are growing because of cultural changes. Recently, many more young people are vaping than were smoking a decade ago. While there isn't conclusive evidence of what this means, preventative care specialists will see the issues first.
Even just within a family, an illness can be passed around if it isn't caught early. If everyone in the family is in generally bad health, their immune systems won't be prepared when the diseases start to spread.
By teaching everyone about preventative care, more people can stay healthier. Illnesses won't be as intense and no one will miss work or school more than they have to in order to heal.
4. Making Kids Aware of Healthcare
Most kids don't devote very much time to thinking about their healthcare. That's the job of their parents. However, kids can develop habits that are as bad or worse than habits that their parents have. If you make your kids aware of their own health, you can ensure that they make good decisions every day.
Kids are faced with choices about their lunch at school every day. They're given sugary options as well as natural and healthy options. If your kids understand why they shouldn't eat junk food every day, they can make healthier decisions as they grow up.
Kids that are aware of healthcare will also learn some preventative measures. They'll let you know when they need to see a doctor. They'll understand when they have cold or flu symptoms and know they have to wash their hands as much as possible.
When they've learned the proper steps to take to stay healthy, they'll keep you and everyone around you in better health.
5. Allowing Families To Talk About Health
It's hard for families to talk about health together. One of the hardest subjects to bring up with your family has to do with aging members of your family. If your parents or grandparents are aging, you have to have hard conversations.
However, a strong culture of preventative care makes everyone prepared to speak openly about healthcare. Where some families might keep young children from being involved in these conversations, if they understand healthcare, they'll be part of the conversation.
Trips to the doctor won't seem traumatic but rather a natural part of life. Spending time talking about healthcare will be less scary and understood as necessary.
The Importance of Preventative Care Can't Be Overstated
When it comes to creating a world that's healthier and more patient-friendly, the importance of preventative care is massive.
Preventative care can lower costs because people won't get as sick with the frequency they would without it. Preventative care is proven to be cost-effective and to help keep people in better shape than when there's none provided.
If you're currently comparing different plans, check out our guide for finding the right one.