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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Transformation Of Healthcare - The Once And Future Queen

Prevention is not a pipe dream. Solid data and pilot projects exist to demonstrate the effectiveness of prevention for individuals and groups. Healthy People 2010, an extension of Healthy People 2000, is a national benchmark that has been slow to take flight. Its value is that it is there and serves as a guide for local programs and other pilot projects. Take a look at CardioVision 2020, Healthy South Carolina and the Greater Greenville Shrinkdown.

Significant change on a large scale takes time and sustained effort. Much more is ongoing than meets the eye. Partly, this is due to the massive scale and the attention given to the problems of medical care. It was well-put that prevention is still waiting for its Massachusetts moment.

Prevention is the step-sister of medical care. But, like Cinderella, prevention will be queen one day. The transformation of health care will reveal that prevention is not a branch of medical care. Prevention is the primary function of health care and medical care is a related default field to be used when necessary but avoided if at all possible.

The current efforts at medical care reform may be the initial movement in that direction. They will collapse under their own financial weight without having improved health status. Perhaps, then, the perspective on health will swing but it will not come in the form of a Eureka moment. More than likely it will come as a slowly rising tide.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of work to be done.

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