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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Quest For Good Health

The thought never occurred to me to do my time and peacefully ride off into the sunset. As I look back upon my career, it evolved in stages from medical care to health care to health with almost five decades devoted to study, hands on experience and thought about the different stages. It began as a quest for cures of diseases and slowly became a quest for good health. Step by step over many years I learned firsthand the vast difference between the two quests, as well as the important role of human behavior in sickness and health. Central to this change of perspective are some hard earned observations that may appear obvious, perhaps even simple, but I believe they are basic and often overlooked.

These observations define health as the functional capacity of people and society; a health care system consists of health care and medical care; health care is the means to achieve the best health status possible for the individual and the community; medical care is the diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease and injury; if an effort called reform serves only to increase what transpired in the past, it is not reform; it is better to be fit and well than sick and injured; the greatest and most valuable contribution to a long and productive life is good health; lifestyle is everything that transpires each day in a person's life and daily life is the greatest influence upon health status; it is possible to alter daily life with knowledge, effort and determination but most people need assistance to do so; there are many different forms of assistance but the most important are moral, group and community support; the best health status possible (optimum) cannot be achieved easily, if at all, by treating illness, disease and injury, it is best to avoid them. Survival is an art form.

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