Thursday, February 02, 2006

Executive Health Checkups can be hazardous to your health !

Executive Checkups can harm your health ! : Many well-heeled executives take pride in going for an annual "health checkup". This has become a ritual - and their company is happy to foot the bill - after all, they care for their employees, and need to ensure they remain healthy ! After all, isn't it commonsense that prevention is better than cure - and the earlier you identify problems, the easier it is to treat them ? "Many clinics now readily pander to this demand by providing a wide range of 'executive health check-up schemes,' but often these 'schemes' can be more harmful than beneficial ! In fact, routine tests, such as electrocardiograms, chest X-rays and full blood screening, have been found to provide little overall benefit for the healthy individual. " Ironically, the "higher" the executive's post - the more tests the Health Package ( Diamond Packages provide 70 tests, versus Gold Packages which provide 40, for example) offers - and the more dangerous it is ! More is not always better - and in fact, the more the tests performed, the greater the chances that an abnormality will be identified. Unfortunately, in this patient population ( healthy people who are undergoing tests for screening only), the vast majority of abnormalities are unlikely to be of any medical importance - they are the False Positives. However, the result will create a lot of anxiety - and the doctor will then happily order further tests to try to determine the significance of the abnormal test result, often resulting in a Catch 22 situation, where a healthy person has been "converted" into a patient. " Welcome to my parlour, said the spider to the fly" would the best way of describing how the medical system seduces patients with the help of these health checkup schemes.

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