The rise of individual wellness

Wellness refers to a state of complete physical and psychological wellbeing. Healthcare is currently seeing a fundamental shift in its philosophies and foundation away from the Doctor being the traditional custodian of the patient’s wellness, to the patient being primarily responsible. 

This approach makes tremendous sense if one considers the relatively small amount of time a patient spends under the care of their healthcare provider, and the fact that healthcare professionals generally only see patients once they are ill (often this means it’s too late to prevent certain complications or diseases). Healthcare professionals are also not present when patients make choices on a daily basis which affect their wellness, such as smoking, eating and exercising. Patients therefore have the greatest opportunity to impact their health and wellness (indeed, up to 70% of healthcare costs are due to modifiable patient behaviours). Of course, healthcare professionals remain the experts and should be consulted for assistance in improving these lifestyle elements and other risk factors. 

Many diseases have a silent period, often of several years, where they are present but are not producing any signs or symptoms to belie there existence. High blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, glaucoma or cancers are examples of such conditions. 

Together with patients taking more interest in their health and ways to improve or maintain it, there is an increasing focus on preventative care, as healthcare professionals, medical aids and patients begin to recognize the logic behind the old adage “prevention is better than cure”, particularly in the context of inflating healthcare costs and a rise in the burden of lifestyle related diseases. 

One of the major ways to maximise wellness and prevent disease and complications thereof is to ensure that you screen yourself regularly for these conditions – enabling one to pick them up at an earlier stage. This is where one does need to work closely with healthcare professionals. 

To help facilitate this, Intercare’s Centre for Lifestyle Management has established 11 Vitality Wellness Centres across the country, which allows a patient to have their cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and HIV status checked, as well as undergo screening tests for glaucoma, and prostate and cervical cancer. If you are a Vitality member you can access these assessments at one of our Wellness Centres. To make a booking contact our call centre on 086 999 0669 or send your name and number to and we will call you back. 


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