Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The Cost of Preventative Healthcare
I've always thought that in this country we pay far too little attention to preventative healthcare. It's usually far cheaper than the alternative. Three years ago, when I was 40, I went to see my GP to ask for a full healthcheck, on the basis that having reached 40 I ought to have some sort of "body-MOT". I've always been in good health and had no reason to suspect anything was wrong, but I wanted to be sure. No can do, came the reply. I had a blood test and a cholestorol test but that was about it. So I left it. Someone I know died recently at the age of 38. He found out he had cancer and was dead four weeks later. I don't know if it had been diagnosed earlier anything could have been done, but it made me think. So today I decided to take the plunge and ring BUPA, with whom I have a policy. Yes, they said, they would happily do one for me, albeit not until 27 February. The health check would take two hours and consist of about 30 different tests and scans. And then came the sting. £350! Anyway, I've taken the plunge and booked myself in. If nothing else, I'll have peace of mind. I hope! But I do wonder whether someone might do a cost benefit analysis on giving every 40 or 50 year old a fairly comprehensive healthcheck and weigh up the the longer term costs of not doing so.