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Preventive Care Is a Crucial Component of Modern Healthcare


Preventive care has become one of the focal areas in terms of the future of healthcare in South Africa. Although preventive care is a hot topic now, the concept was first introduced in South Africa as far back as 1897 by the Public Health Amendment Act No. 23, which made provision for separate curative and preventive care.

Part of a shift in focus to preventive care is evident in the fact that a large number of South African medical students from eight different provinces have graduated by means of the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration Programme.

The landscape of healthcare in South Africa requires a blend of innovative technologies to cope with the burgeoning challenges. From the rapidly growing burden of chronic diseases to the ongoing struggle with accessibility to healthcare, the focus on preventive healthcare is set to be the key trend in the medium to long term. The increasing awareness that a significant percentage of diseases can be avoided through lifestyle changes is also driving the prioritisation of preventive healthcare.


Leveraging Technology to Improve Health Outcomes

There is a clear need for the healthcare sector to introduce more proactive healthcare approaches with an emphasis on prevention as opposed to cure. Early detection health screenings, predictive analytics, and the promotion of the health benefits of improved lifestyle choices should form the foundation of preventive healthcare solutions going forward.

Virtual healthcare is also an important tool in the healthcare arena that can be employed to improve access to healthcare. Given that most South Africans now own smartphones, virtual healthcare solutions offer a real opportunity to bring healthcare to underserved populations. Virtual healthcare is an excellent medium for the implementation of preventive healthcare measures in poor and remote areas.

Advancements in virtual screening and diagnostics promise to empower patients, enabling them to take a more proactive role in their own health while equipping healthcare professionals with crucial data to help make informed treatment decisions. The ballooning cost for the treatment of non-communicable diseases highlights the power of the adage “prevention is better than cure”.

Initiatives focused on mental well-being, diet, and exercise, are aimed at finding solutions that foster holistic preventive care. As the Internet of Things (IoT) starts becoming more mainstream, a growing understanding of the links between mental and physical health is occurring. This awareness informs the design of more comprehensive and integrated preventive care strategies.


The Effect of Preventive Care on Affordability

Preventive healthcare is generally more cost-effective than treating diseases or conditions once they have presented. Early identification of risk factors and rapid intervention help to prevent illness from taking hold and reduce healthcare costs in the long term. Preventive care measures such as education and counselling on healthy lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and stress management, are far less costly than treating the diseases they help prevent. By promoting healthier behaviours, individuals reduce their risk of developing chronic conditions with their associated long-term costs.

Preventive care helps individuals maintain better health and reduces the risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, as well as heart disease, and certain cancers. By addressing recognised risk factors and promoting healthier behaviours, preventive healthcare may lead to better health outcomes and better quality of life. Measures such as vaccinations, screenings, and regular check-ups help prevent diseases or at least detect them in their early stages when they are most treatable. Mammograms, for example, may detect breast cancer early enough for much better prognoses. Regular blood pressure checks may identify hypertension before it presents serious complications.


Additional Benefits

  • Additional benefits of preventive healthcare include reductions in healthcare disparities ensuring everyone receives early detection and intervention services regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographic location.
  • Preventing or managing diseases before they progress reduces the burden on healthcare systems, including hospitals, clinics, and emergency rooms.
  • Investing in preventive healthcare may have long-term public health benefits from the reduction of chronic diseases to improving overall population health.
  • Preventive care often leads to targeted interventions that improve health outcomes for specific populations, reducing healthcare disparities. Maintaining good health and preventing the onset of disease typically significantly improves individuals’ quality of life allowing them to remain active, independent, and engaged in their communities for longer.


The Answer to Providing Affordable Healthcare for Your Family

While we understand the importance of preventive care, KeyHealth Medical is aware that you need value-for-money curative medical cover as well. We have responded to your needs by providing six highly affordable medical cover options. Our products are designed to offer a suitable option to the widest possible group of potential customers. Almost all of our options include added benefits, such as our Easy-ER, Smart Baby Programme, and Health Booster add-ons. The additional benefits are provided at no extra cost. Contact us today to learn more.