Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play. Everyone – government, businesses, educators, health care institutions, communities and every single Canadian – has a role in creating a healthier society.
Good health comes not just from receiving quality medical care but from stopping disease before it starts. Good health also comes from clean air and water, safe outdoor spaces for physical activity, safe worksites, healthy foods, violence-free environments and healthy homes. Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives.
Evidence-based preventive services are effective in reducing death and disability, and are cost-effective or even cost-saving. Preventive services consist of screening tests, counseling, immunizations or medications used to prevent disease, detect health problems early, or provide people with the information they need to make good decisions about their health. Specific preventive services vary depending on your age or gender based on medically recommended and recognized guidelines.
Examples of preventative services covered by the Medical Services Plan of BC include blood pressure screenings; diabetes screening; cholesterol screening tests; cancer screenings tests, including mammograms and colon cancer screening; counseling on such topics as quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthy, treating depression, reducing alcohol use; getting routine vaccinations against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), meningitis, flu and pneumonia to name a few; and proactive visits to ensure healthy pregnancies and regular well-baby and well-child visits from birth onwards.
It is of interest to note that only approximately 50% of older adults are up-to-date on the core set of clinical preventive services (e.g., cancer screening and immunizations).