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The Difference between Proactive and Reactive Healthcare


Healthcare is approached in two different ways, proactive and reactive. While it is true that the proactive approach has the edge over reactive healthcare, the latter is a necessity when the situation is out of our control.

Let’s understand the two types of healthcare approaches and their differences:

Understanding Proactive Healthcare

Heard of the adage that prevention is better than cure? Proactive healthcare is exactly that. It involves a lifestyle and a few practices that eliminate the possibility of any health problems before they can turn into a disease. For example, cutting off sugar to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

In this approach, numerous preventative methods are taken to reduce the risks of all kinds of diseases and stop the symptoms from ever manifesting in the first place.

Understanding Reactive Healthcare

Reactive healthcare is when you react to a health problem after the fact. This medical approach involves all the steps taken after the symptoms of a disease, condition, or injury have already manifested. For instance, being in a car accident and rushing to the emergency. All the first-aid and medicines given to the patient is a reaction to the injury.

The Key Differences between Proactive & Reactive Healthcare

Proactive and reactive healthcare approaches are both necessary to maintain good health. They are effective when they are chosen correctly. Here are some of the key differences between proactive and reactive healthcare approaches:

● Time of Action

The main difference between the two healthcare approaches is the time of action. If you visit a doctor, or a dietician, start exercising, and change your lifestyle before you have experienced any kind of symptoms, your approach is proactive.

With reactive healthcare, you take action once you are already suffering from a health issue.

● Method of Treatment

There’s a major difference between the methods of treatment in proactive and reactive healthcare. In proactive healthcare, people boost their immune system with supplements, antioxidants, vaccinations, high fluid intake, exercises, etc.

In reactive healthcare, the treatment involves anything from antibiotics and painkillers to surgeries.

● Cost

A proactive healthcare approach is more expensive in the short term but saves you a lot of money in the long run. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of contracting any illness may cost you heavily at the time. Organic food, gym, supplements, etc., can be expensive. However, you’d save lots of money on checkups, tests, and medicines in the long run.

In reactive healthcare, paying a visit to your doctor once or twice a year may cost you less in the immediate time frame. However, a lack of preventive measures weakens the immune system leading to chronic diseases. Chronic medical conditions cost a lot more when it involves frequent trips to the hospital, high-risk surgeries, costly medicines, etc. It also costs you your health and is much more painful to deal with.

Final Thoughts

Both proactive and reactive healthcare have their times of need. The preventative method is, of course, a better course of action, but it isn’t suitable or even possible in unpredictable situations, like an unexpected injury. In that case, only a reactive approach can save lives.

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