Chronic diseases could be a major problem for National Health Insurance

The original article can be found in: BVI News Online  By Robert Jones 

Business and government leaders are struggling to maintain and rein in rising healthcare premiums and cost which reduce opportunities for reinvestment and offset wage increases for their employees.

According to the Center for Diseases Control, chronic disease in the USA sucks up 75% of healthcare dollars.

Business and healthcare communities have a shared responsibility to work with their workforces and encourage them to be healthy.

However each individual needs to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The health care and business communities can provide information and incentives but the ultimate responsibility lies with each of us. The saying you can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make him drink is appropriate here.

But in the end leaders must make difficult judgments and decisions on how best to protect and preserve the society in which we live.

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.

There are four modifiable health risk behaviors that can reduce health care cost drastically. They are (1) Lack of physical activity, (2) poor nutrition, (3) tobacco use, and (4) excessive alcohol consumption.

If as a society we improve in these four areas chances are we will have less illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases. This will also significantly reduce the cost health care.

Even if National Health Insurance is successful, chronic diseases must be kept under control as a society or health care cost will continue to increase astronomically.

That being said, a vision and plan to reduce chronic diseases in the BVI should be a major component of the National Health Insurance and or the Health Services Authority.

The size of our population dictates that we are proactive or we can find ourselves paying much more than 7.5 percent.

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