Malaysians should start off the new year by making better decisions towards better health. If there are unhealthy lifestyle habits, make the decision now to stop them before it leads to poor health and diseases.
Among the most important steps to take towards improved health is a medical check-up with your family doctor. Medical check-ups should not be feared as better health begins with the awareness of one’s health status.
Personal management of health needs consistency and continuity to maintain or improve health as well as prevent any diseases from developing.
Medical check-ups, exercise and observing a healthy diet need to be regular to achieve the best outcomes possible. People are living longer and with better quality of life these days with these simple but important steps, which require consistency.
Follow-up appointments with your GP or a specialist should be taken seriously as health status can change even within a short period. The health of older persons need to be closely monitored. Full compliance to prescribed medications are also important in the management of certain health conditions.
Malaysians can also take full advantage of the health screening programmes under the government as some of the screenings can be costly at private healthcare facilities.
Those diagnosed with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and others, need to ensure their condition is properly managed. Medication alone is not the answer. Lifestyle adjustments to diet, stress management and incorporating of daily exercise should be given equal importance.
It is also troubling to see many with diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases are still in the habit of smoking. Those in this group are ticking time bombs who are at serious risk of cardiovascular incidents like stroke and other life-threatening diseases such as cancer, and even complications if infected with Covid-19.
Our advice for those who continue to smoke in spite of the associated risks is of course to quit immediately, but besides this, they should also be aware of the high cost of treating diseases associated with the habit of smoking. Very often we see families struggling to manage these costs of treatment, which could have been prevented if better lifestyle decisions had been made much earlier.
Our vision is to have a reformed health care system for this country so that every individual has access to quality health care with no one left devastated financially on account of a health care crisis. We hope to see more beneficial changes to our health care system in 2022 and beyond.
All Malaysians must make better decisions when it comes to their health. For two years, we have witnessed the importance of good health while dealing with a pandemic. Let’s not wait for another surge in cases for us to wake up.
Dr Koh Kar Chai is president of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.