What is the state of health care today? Would it be considered healthy? Depends on how you measure it I guess.
I’m not interested in the typical debates around health care though.
I’m interested in examining something much more fundamental. Do we really do health care?
In some cases yes, but overall, I don’t think so. Rather, we are more inclined to do sick care, rather than health care. The health care system really only kicks in when someone is sick. We spend inordinate amounts of money on people when they are sick. Our medication is focused on alleviating symptoms of those that are sick, and to some extent doing some kind of cure to move people towards health.
Our nutrition certainly isn’t oriented towards health. We are asked to change our eating habits only when there is a problem. Our mental health system is poor at best.
We don’t do effective preventative care. We certainly don’t invest money in preventative care like we should. I think part of the reason is that preventative care saves money. There is more money to be made off of sick care, rather than preventative health care. Just as there is more money to be made from poverty and war and addiction.
Our tendency here in the US is to try to make matters better after they have broken down – at least we tell ourselves that. Why not do preventative care though? It’s more economical. It’s more dignified and caring. It humanizes the health care system. And it means that fewer of us will need as much sick care.
I suspect one reason we don’t alter our system is that we don’t have the imagination of what this might look like. And so we stick with what we know. That’s not a good reason though. That’s lazy. We could use more imagination when it comes to our health care. And we could use more motivation to change it also. Our health – physical, mental, emotional, and financial – should be enough motivation.