In Sickness And In Health

It’s very important that we understand the implications of the words we use, as they can have a powerful control of our beliefs and the actions we take. Let’s take the word ‘Health’, a very common word and one with which we in the UK associate very strong beliefs.

Many years ago, it was decided for good reasons that our nation should have a National Health Service. The concept was admirable; government funded health care for all. Having personally lived in countries without their own NHS, and witnessed the inequalities that this causes, I can only say I am immensely proud that we continue to fight for our NHS’s survival.

But if we look deeper into world funding of health, as published by the World Health Organisation, we find that only 3% is spent on prevention, or health, and the other 97% is spent on treating episodes of sickness and injury. It is difficult to justify calling such a service a health service when in fact it is 97% a sickness and injury service.  This is not an intended criticism of the NHS, far from it, it is merely a statement of fact.

Now consider the implications, for a moment, if we had all grown up with exactly the same service, but it had been more accurately called the National Sickness and Injury Service, or NSIS.

Your health is your responsibility and yours alone

For a start, we would not have the belief that our health was somehow somebody else’s responsibility. We would have the reassurance that should something go wrong, we would have an excellent NSIS to call upon, but we would understand our health was fundamentally our responsibility and ours alone.

What impact might it have if we taught our children from day one that it was important to be healthy, to make healthy decisions each and every day, and to take personal responsibility for their own health?  Would the UK have the dishonour of growing fatter faster than any other nation on earth? Would we have 3 million suffering diabetes and another 7 million at risk? Would we have a decreasing life expectancy? Would we have a NSIS which simply can’t cope with the ever increasing demands placed on it?

Some may think this is just a play on words. I disagree. I speak to far too many individuals who believe health care should be free, based solely on their mistaken belief that our NSIS is a free health service. This in turn actually dissuades or even stops people from investing in their own health, which of course eventually places a greater burden on our national service.

I doubt anyone would argue with the merits of a government funded service where the majority was spent on prevention and health. But for now, we need to be realistic and understand we have an admirable service which provides care for episodes of sickness and injury. It is thus up to each of us to accept the responsibility for both our own health and for the next generation.

Accept that responsibility and your actions will inevitably change to lead you and your children to a healthier, happier and longer life.

At Nicky Snazell’s Wellness and Physiotherapy Clinic, we have embraced prevention as better than cure and promote wellness as a core part of our service. If you want to become more proactive about your health, we can help you with a roadmap to that healthier, happier and longer life.

Call now on 01889 881488. Erica and Jean will be happy to help