Time to take Regular Health Checks Seriously

By Nurul Athirah Binti Mohd Nazri

Health checks identify risk factors for diseases in people without symptoms (Stol, Asscher & Schermer, 2017). This is a preventive measure from any risk of getting illnesses or diseases. It is helpful to promote health in the community as it allows for the evaluation of one’s current state of health and well-being. Medical check-ups are equally important to get as part of a healthy lifestyle. This must be taken seriously as the number of people getting sick is increasing each year. Efforts must be taken to prevent from the number of cases to rise.

This topic is related to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) which is Good Health and Well Being. According to the United Nations, this goal is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. Regular health checks is an effort that should be performed to ensure that we have healthy lives. Routine medical check-ups are crucial to prevent illnesses, lowers morbidity and death, and maintains overall health. It paves the way for the assessment of our state of well-being.

Before examining the importance of getting regular medical check-ups, let us identify why people have refused to get regular medical check-ups based on a research study conducted by Chien, Chuang & Chen (2020).

The first reason is because they believe that they are already healthy and in good condition. They think that regular health check-ups are not necessary since they are already healthy. They said they will only go to hospital and meet the doctor when they are unwell. 

Second, it is because of the lack of time. People think that doing medical check-ups is a waste of time since the procedures are too complicated and they take a lot of time. They find it troublesome to follow the process. A worker might have to take half a day or maybe a full day off from work for their medical check-ups when they have tons of work to do. Thus, they refuse to use their annual day off only for this reason. 

Next, some people refuse to get medical check-ups because they cannot afford to do it regularly. The government provides subsidies for citizens to get medical check-ups allowing them to get them for free or pay only a small amount for the check-ups at public hospitals and clinics. However, because of the lack of good facilities and poor services people prefer to go to private clinics and hospitals. For these reasons, they have had to fork out a lot to do their medical check-ups. 

On top of that, people experience negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and embarrassment when it comes to medical check-ups. They are afraid in case the doctor detects something abnormal and must spend huge amounts of money to treat it.

Moving on to the main focus of the discussion is on the importance of getting regular health check-ups as mentioned in a blog created by Pomona Valley Health Center. The first importance of getting regular health check-ups is to reduce the risk of getting sick. One’s physical and emotional well-being is checked during regular medical examinations. With a full body check-up from your doctor, one will get a thorough examination from head to toe, mentions Swacon Hospital (2019). Thus, we will get to detect any minor or major illnesses. 

Next, early detection of illnesses or diseases that could be life-threatening can be done. Regular check-ups can help discover conditions including heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and more. Disease progression and complications might make treatment difficult if they are not discovered early. Patients and communities will benefit from the early detection of diseases, which will reduce their socioeconomic burden later on when pursuing treatment. 

Early detection of the disease may decrease the cost of healthcare over time. To illustrate, if one gets to know that he or she has a disease later when the situation has already bad, the cost of treatment may be higher as the case gets more complex and needs more advanced technology and tools to attain the best treatment. 

Besides, by getting regular health check-ups one may increase the chances to get treatment and be cured. The doctor will be able to investigate the case more precisely and provide the best treatment for patients preventing any complications. Moreover, regular health check-ups may increase one’s lifespan and improve health. It will lead to improved health and a decrease in mortality and morbidity, which can lead to a decrease in the number of man-hours. 

Lastly, regular health check-ups can help identify stress-related diseases. The constant pressure at work, school, college, university, uncertain weather and the like has made most individuals suffer from stress. There are stress-related diseases and disorders which can be physical or even psychological. A frequent full body check-up will help the doctor diagnose such concerns and provide the opportunity to discuss about their stress so as to obtain the treatment that patients might need. 

People should be getting health check-ups regularly for at least once or twice a year.  According to the Pomona Valley Health Center’s My Health Patient portal, an adult should do preventive health screening annually that would include identifying health issues related to family history, check for blood pressure, calculate body mass index (BMI), conduct physical exams, preventive screenings, and get counselling. 

As specified by MHC Medical Centre, every doctor has in his or her own repertory a list of screening tests to run on people at different ages and with varied risk factors. We should always ask our doctor on which screening tests are appropriate for us. There are some screening tests that might be important for us to do. These tests are thyroid testing and iron testing which are important for women, vitamin D tests C reactive protein tests, lipid tests, diabetes tests, bone density tests and peak flow readings are important for all. All these tests are important depending on our condition and situation following the advice of our doctor. 

In conclusion, regular health check-ups are important to everyone regardless of age and status. Our body has been entrusted to us from Allah SWT and must be taken care of as we must be reminded that Allah is the absolute owner. We will be accountable for it in the Hereafter as will be asked what we have used our body for and how we have taken care of it. ***

(Nurul Athirah Binti Mohd Nazri is a student from Kulliyyah of Economic and Management Sciences (KENMS). The article is part of the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ course. The views expressed here are those of the writer/author and do not necessarily represent the views of IIUMToday,)

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