Preventive Healthcare in India: Tackling the Silent Healthcare Crisis

Preventive Healthcare in India

Numerous studies have proven a disruptive interconnectedness between the functioning of body and mind. A body responds to the way one thinks, feels and acts. Poor emotional health can weaken a body’s immune system and the opposite holds true too.

Good health is an outcome of fitness in both mind and body.

Working millennials are continually focused on achieving major milestones in their career path. People are working longer and harder to achieve their aspirational goals. This causes them undue anxiety and pressure at work, affecting their physical as well as mental well-being.

In the quest to reach various mile-points early, unrealistic career goals may be setup. They could be either long-term like landing an elusive dream job or getting a coveted promotion or more short-term like a large increment or even an outstanding performance review.

In addition, more and more people are veering towards being a ‘multipotentialite’ with varied and unconnected ambitions while trying to achieve that perfect personal life. This constant juggling act often translates to further stress and may have a premature and serious toll on one’s health, putting them on a continuum of minor to major health deficits.

Preventive Healthcare

Preventive healthcare or preventive medicine or prophylaxis aims at an absence of disease, either by preventing the occurrence of a fitness problem or by slowing and averting resulting complications after its onset. It consists of measures taken to preserve health, as opposed to the treatment of disease.

Prophylaxis includes the identification and minimization of disease risk factors, existing disease course improvement and early disease detection through screening. Preventive screenings and services help to assess and reduce the risk for diseases and conditions such as hypertension and treating it before it manifests in the body as a marker for a more chronic and fatal disease like stroke.

Aspects

Preventive and wellness programs primarily have the following aspects:

  • Diagnostics and health monitoring
  • Fitness and recreational sports
  • Healthy consumption
  • Rejuvenation and wellness therapies

Due to a sharp rising curve in fitness awareness and management of lifestyle among Indians, as per a report by RedSeer Consulting, by 2022, approximately 130 million (M) health-conscious individuals will be actively taking pre-emptive measures to ensure a healthy living. Heightened awareness due to an extensive internet adoption and technology like fitness-wearable devices are further propelling more salubrity-conscious people to opt for comprehensive and appropriate programs.

Workplace Interventions

Keeping in sync, corporates are increasingly looking at facilitating preventive healthcare as an integral part of their overall wellness and eudaemonia benefits program for their employees. In addition to in-depth career development programs, they are also progressively investing in workplace health initiatives to facilitate a friendly and conducive environment for their employees.

As per an ASSOCHAM report on Preventive Healthcare and its impact on Corporate Sector, “One rupee spent on prevention saves 133 rupees in absenteeism costs and 6.62 rupees in healthcare costs”.

With an orientation towards overall eudaemonia, health maintenance has the upside of slowing down biological ageing while catching warning disease symptoms early. Preventive healthcare and wellness programs can further alter employees’ behaviour and ameliorate their biometric risk profile. It can also positively impact their work productivity.

Surveys have also indicated that more people are considering a well-defined employee benefits program as a tiebreaker in their final job selection.

* Source: 2018 Cigna 360° Well-Being Survey – Future Assured

Rahul Paith, Chief Operating Officer (COO), DocOnline said, “Workplace is becoming an emotional roller-coaster ride for many employees. They are under prolonged stress to deliver and perform. Organizations have to very conscientiously invest in the well-being of their employees through a supportive and comfortable work environment, set clear and realistic expectations related to productivity and performance, facilitate flexible office hours and remote work options. This not only translates to a better employee morale and well-being but also paves the way for an enhanced business outcome“.

He further added, “Preventive healthcare is helping to tackle the unseen healthcare crisis among the working millenials in India and elsewhere who are under constant pressure to achieve their career goals. Telemedicine provides a reliable platform for employees to seek the help of medical practitioners from the convenience of their office and home without having to worry about missed deadlines and taking permissions at work. Any concerns about securing privacy of their medical records are also carefully addressed.”

Government Initiatives

In its endeavour towards a healthy nation, the Government has also taken various initiatives like ‘Health for All’ and ‘The National Health Assurance Mission’ to reduce the burden of chronic diseases. The healthcare modalities being implemented are pivoted towards the prevention, screening, early intervention and new treatment platforms for patients.

Early and carefully-monitored screenings are important because they can be indicators of serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease and thereby, help to facilitate better patient outcomes. The bedrock of preventive health interventions is to diagnose and treat the symptoms of a disease early on to prevent patients suffering from the resulting conditions. Preventive tests not only save lives but also protect individuals and their family from immense physical and emotional distress. Early detection also saves on the exorbitant costs which may be incurred when a condition has worsened.

Telemedicine offers easier doctor-patient engagement models with an emphasis on diagnostics as well as a consumer’s health monitoring and well-being. With the ease and comfort provided by telemedicine in preventive healthcare, lack of time, hectic schedules or a fast-paced lifestyle can no longer be excuses in delaying to seek timely medical services.

Article By,

Kolla Krishna Madhavi

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