At last the medical establishment is beginning to recognise the consequences of running a NHS on drugs with little regard for health promotion and teaching patients how to improve their own health with lifestyle changes and other non invasive healthcare support. See the article today on BBC website HERE
We have a NHS that spends most of its vast resources on disease diagnosis, treatment and management with scant regard for health promotion besides the rather simplistic advice to stop smoking , don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat too much and get some exercise.
We have had half a century of telling psatients that they are not responsible for their own health , that’s the NHS responsibility to fix you when you get ill. The result is a fairly sick , unhealthy nation and a ever burgeoning drug bill and hospital spend. The word “doctor” used to mean “teacher”, in other words the doctor was expected to teach his patients how to live a more healthy life but today his role is primarily dealing with diagnosis, referral and prescription of drug or other medical intervention. The public also want “a quick fix” rather than do much for themselves, that’s how they have been taught over the past two generations.
There is an obesity epidemic that has now been identified as a very serious threat to the nation’s health, there is also a stress epidemic that can be diagnosed by hyperventilation testing, since stress invariably leads to over-breathing. Teach people to improve their breathing and, would you believe it? They start to suffer fewer symptoms and illness from the stress that is part of our lives today. It costs very little to teach people good breathing habits and improved breathing with other lifestyle changes will vastly improve the health of anyone suffering from asthma, hypertension, sleep apnoea, panic attaches, depression and a host of other health problems. Less medication will be needed, quality of life will be improved and the patient has re-empowered himself. All good news I would have thought for a NHS strapped for cash, staff overburdened, GP surgeries under so much pressure that often patients will go straight to A & E, putting more demands on an already unsustainable service. Why has such an approach not been at least tested out in the system? Perhaps the answer is that medically trained people are not conversant with any alternative to drugs and perhaps the “drug addiction” extends to them as well as the general population. There are exceptions to this scenario but any doctor who dares break with the drug protocol puts his job in jeopardy. There are few incentives to break out of the drug box.It is up to each one of us to make the next move and try to become more self-reliant, more health conscious and be more restrained before taking yet another pill.