Patient Safety

Preventing Much More Than Just the Flu

This article discusses why preventing the flu is not just good for the individual, but also for the community – there are public health implications on preventing the flu.

By Jennifer Dawson

Americans are not doing everything possible when it comes to preventative health care. According to the CDC, over half of all Americans avoid doctors and dentists on a regular basis, which is raising the cost of health care for everyone. Further, the absence of preventative health care is causing diseases such as diabetes, to rise unnecessarily. While it may seem that Americans might be substituting medical care for natural remedies, this is also not the truth. When we participate in regular health care visits, as well as organic care, we help build healthier communities and prevent a hike in national health care costs. We must stop using emergency rooms for primary health care, and we must maintain a working relationship with a regular doctor. We must also maintain self care through organic means between visits.

The Cost of Health Care

According to the CDC, 141 million people visited emergency rooms last year. Of that number, only 7% were admitted to the hospital. This gap is partly filled by those who use the emergency room as a primary care facility. Even after the public were encouraged to purchase health insurance, people still avoid visiting the doctor.

According to a study in Medical Care, emergency medicine costs three times as much as a regular doctor’s visit. This cost is passed on to the patients in the form of co-pays, and in the form of taxes for the uninsured, disabled, or elderly. Overall, investing in both medical and dental issues on an individual basis could reduce the price for everyone.

Further, the unhealthy habits of Americans push more people into emergency care. Too many people fail to follow a natural, organic diet, causing harm to the internal organs. These are the people who arrive at the emergency room with heart attacks, again, increasing overall costs for everyone.

The Cost of Public Health

Preventative care helps find underlying issues, and helps uncover community-based problems. For example, if a patient is feeling ill and he or she has a preventative care doctor, that doctor is more likely to see the patient quickly. If this patient has a communicable disease, such as the flu, the doctor is better able to quarantine the illness and avoid its spread among the community. If the same patient does not participate in preventative care, has no primary doctor, and waits until the last minute to seek medical care, the illness has had a chance to spread to more people. Further, a person who takes care of the body naturally runs less risk of obtaining a communicable disease, because the body is provided with the right types of vitamins for natural prevention. Preventative care, such as doctor’s visits and eating natural foods, is not only about making sure there are no personal issues. It is also about protecting the community, and ensuring that communicable diseases stay confined.

It's Not Too Late - Get a Flu Vaccination TODAY!

It’s Not Too Late – Get a Flu Vaccination TODAY!

Preventative care is no longer about the individual. It is now about the community, and the nation as a whole. When this type of care is avoided, the community pays with money and with public health. Americans need to participate in preventative care whenever possible, and must work to maintain their good health for the sake of the nation.

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Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson is an experienced freelance writer who specializes in food and nutrition. Working in fitness marketing previously gave her a good feel for the industry and since going freelance she has been able to explore her preferred topic areas such as diet, nutrition and food. Outside of work, Jen enjoys traveling, swimming and spending time with her young family.

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