Friday, 14 July 2017

The human body too requires regular maintenance as does your car

The human body too requires regular maintenance as does your car Yesterday, I sent my car for servicing. It will be due for another service again in the next quarter. Car maintenance can be expensive, depending on the car model. Yet we accept these bills and make regular payments with no questions asked. Why is it important to get your car serviced? The obvious answer is to make sure that the car engine runs smoothly, utilizes fuel efficiently and does not break down on the road. In other words, so that it stays “healthy”, and any faults, if detected, can be repaired timely before one is stranded on the road. So, when we comply with the service schedule as provided by the service center, why do we not do the same for our body even though we routinely subject it to wear and tear every day? Our body is exposed to stress daily, both physical and mental, but we ignore its health. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one way of taking care of the body. A good diet and regular physical activity keep us healthy and there is ample scientific evidence to support this. In addition to a healthy lifestyle, preventive health check-up is also an important way to take care of our body. Usually, people go to doctors only when they fall ill or for follow-up for their illness for which they are on treatment. Preventive health check-up ensures primary prevention “preventing the onset of disease” by identifying and controlling the risk factors for a disease. This way measures, including lifestyle changes can be instituted timely. It also helps early detection and treatment of any health problem. Early diagnosis prevents or delays onset of complications. Earlier the diagnosis, better are the chances for a cure or improved survival. Preventive health check-ups can be expensive. For this reason, patients often ask for discounts on bills, be it for consultation, diagnostic tests etc. And, they are often reluctant to pay. And in a country like India where out-of-pocket expenditure is the major health expenditure, there is no denying that cost is a concern. I was billed Rs. 18,000/- for my car, a Toyota. I paid the due amount for my car service and will again shell out perhaps an equivalent amount for the next due services regularly every year as most of us will do. Because it is necessary for the maintenance of the car or the vehicle. So, why can’t we do the same for our body? Do we rate a car/vehicle higher than our body? Just as you send your car for regular check-ups, the human body too requires regular preventive check-ups and care. A well-serviced car runs better, the same holds true for the human body. Doctors are “notorious” for ignoring their health. Doctors die, on an average, 10 years earlier than non-doctors. Charity begins at home. We need to take care of our own health needs. All state and local IMA branches must organize or arrange for annual check-ups for members and their families with provisions for all vaccinations including flu and pneumonia. Be proactive about health for a good quality of life…After all, “Health is wealth”. Nothing is more valuable than good health. Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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