People who do not take care of their physical well being by partaking in things like smoking,drinking, and poor dieting are not as deserving of full health care as the people who genuinely attempt to improve. Treatments and surgeries are pricy, timely, and require an extensive amount of resources which wastes tax payer funds and holds up treatment for those who need it even though they do take care of themselves. We need to make sure treatments are effective and being used in the best possible ways.
Those who do not try to alter or improve their health after being asked do not deserve equal opportunities for surgeries and treatments compared to those who improve their diets, activity levels, quit smoking and overall actually try to improve their health. Treating heart disease can be expensive with surgeries and treatments rising up to around $200000 (Harvard Heart Letter, 2017). It is important that they want to improve for them and not for the treatment alone because if they receive the treatment and think the way they lived before is acceptable, then the chance for personal health and self improvement is being undermined and the money used is being wasted. If the money used was directly from the affected patients wallet then I would say go for it and use your new chance as you will, but due to the money being used coming from our taxes and government funding, more effort should be made towards personal health. The only exception to this would be if the patients illness was found to be the result of congenital defects as their condition is not a result of their poor decisions alone.
Treatments like surgeries and medications cannot reach full potential if the person being treated continues to smoke, eat unhealthily, deny themselves proper physical fitness, and/or consume large quantities of alcohol. It may be more effective to the person themself but not as effective in comparison to someone who tries to improve. In nature it is survival of the fittest and it should partially be like that in the healthcare world; meaning the healthiest and fittest should be looked after before someone who has repeatedly denied to change the way they live. Even beginning to walk daily or bidaily is improvement and a start. Around 47% of all deaths in the United States were caused by behaviours like smoking, drinking, and poor eating, so if someone who does not treat themself well continues to live unhealthily after treatments, the bad habits they indulge in will likely be the cause of their death due (Novelli, W. D., 2008).
When the people who avoid caring about their overall health are treated before those who take interest and invest effort in their health and fitness, people who deserve treatment may not get any. Time is being spent ineffectively when treating those who make minimal effort to change. Waiting times may be long with specific treatments which is why we need to treat those who earned it as soon as possible. Across canada the total number of procedures people were waiting for was 973,505 in 2016 and wait times were at 18.3 which is 155% longer than it was in 1993 (Barua, B., & Ren, F., 2017). The wait times prove that we need to prioritize who the treatments will work best with and who deserves them most.
In conclusion, for the best treatment you should have to try to be healthy. The cost for treatments is too high to be taken lightly. If we do not take responsibility and treat our bodies correctly with proper eating, exercise, and habits then we are not deserving of equal medical treatment or healthcare, especially with wait times over 4 months in length.. Medicine has developed so much in the past few decades but that does not mean we can do anything to ourselves and still be in good shape. We need to take care of the people who want to be taken care of for our healthcare system to be in the best shape.
(The Value of Prevention. (2017). Harvard Heart Letter, 27(9), 3.)
(Novelli, W. D. (2008). Transforming the Healthcare System: a Focus on Prevention. Hfm (Healthcare Financial Management), 62(4), 94)
(Barua, B., & Ren, F. (2017, July 06). Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2016 Report. Retrieved November 13, 2017)