“Prevention must become buzz word for reformed health system”
Reform of the health system must include a shift in focus to prevention rather than cure and must break the cycle of focusing health resources solely on those who are already sick, Denis Naughten has stated. “How come we have an NCT for cars, but not for people?” asks the independent candidate for Roscommon Galway.
“Rather than just treating the illness, we would stop people getting sick in many cases by acting early and prioritising prevention,” stated Denis Naughten.
“Almost €7 billion is spent every year on diseases created by bad diet and over-use of alcohol and tobacco consumption. However the spend on preventing these self-induced illnesses is nowhere near that level.
“It’s about time we started doing things differently and acting in the interests of our people. We cannot continue to do things the way we did in the past, especially when it is feeding the problem instead of providing solutions. Prevention is the only solution to reducing pressure on hospital beds. However prevention can’t just be about stopping people getting sick but it is about also ensuring that those who are sick can leave the hospital setting as soon as is safe to do so,” stated Denis Naughten, who has proposed a system of free health checks for everyone.
“Introducing a free national health check for every citizen, every four years, with more frequent tests for high risk categories will catch illness earlier and save lives as well as money. The health check would consist of tests such as urine analysis, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, body mass index and blood sugar levels which could be tied in with existing and planned national screening programmes.
“These tests are simple and relatively inexpensive; however, they are very effective in detecting illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Not only are these diseases big killers but left untreated they can place a big financial burden on our health budget.”