Because it costs money and the way the health care system is arranged it does not benefit an insurer to give you any care at all. An exception to this are some HMOs like Kaiser that are fully responsible for all aspects of their customers health care. This systems behooves them to keep you healthy and so they offer more nutrition, screenings, and excessive programs than a PPO. A PPO just sits tight and lets you figure out your own (so most people do nothing). If you don’t get your age-based tests at Kaiser they nag you! If you don’t get them at a PPO… nothing.
There are a few reasons for this. First, it’s not taught in medical school as arduously as it should be. As well, culturally, people of the west are more into “quick fixes” that allow them to continue to ignore prevention in favor of satiating the senses.
This is changing, albeit slowly.
Western medicine, until recently, has not been focused on preventive care. It is a question of tradition. Medical schools teach, for the most part, the study of disease, rather than the study of health. When a health test is said to be “positive,” it means that a disease has been detected. This use of confusing terminology, e.g., using words like “positive” when a disease is found, shows the bias and focus Western culture has for solving health problems when they arise–rather than preventing them in the first place. Another reason for this focus is that studies have only recently been able to show what healthy behaviors are. Advances in modern medicine have led the West into a greater understanding of health, so that now, as a culture, we are more open to the concept of preventing illness before it begins. We know enough, now, that we are able to begin thinking like that. It’s a question of knowledge, timing, and what attitudes are prevalent in the rest of the culture.
In western medicine, health is the absence of disease. However, many people are in health limbo because they aren’t well enough to be completely happy and satisfied however they aren’t sick enough to go to the doctor or be in the hospital. Thus, the integral component of wellness and optimal health are totally not given any credit. If people were taught to be well, and to recognize when their individuals bodies were in good health versus bad health, many serious conditions could probably be prevented. All of this is just starting to be realized and will take some time to be integrated into modern medical school curriculum.
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