Understanding the Meaning of Health - An Enabler to Help Us Take Charge of Our Own Health
The outstanding benchmarks that help us to understanding the meaning of health as an enabler to help us take charge of our own health can be depicted from a comparative perspective of the attributes of the individual/public health practices and the medical practices as shown in the table below.
Major Differentiating Characteristics
|Health, Personal/Public Health Practices and /or Services||Medicine, Medical Practices and/or Services|
|Main Purpose||Health Maintenance, Health Protection and Health Promotion||Disease Diagnosis, Disease Treatment and Disease Prevention (Immunization)|
|Health Services Consumers (Individual , communities, population) levels; Various Health Care Professionals (Natural health practitioners, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaches, etc.)||The Patient; Physicians and other Allied Medical Professionals|
|Alternative Medicine Practitioners such as Naturopathic Doctors, Functional Medicine Doctors, Nutritional Medicine Doctors, etc: Involved in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural health approaches (nutrition, herbs, massage, etc.).|
|Level of Stakeholder Involvement||Health Services Consumers actively involved in taking care of their health in total (take charge) or partially, depending on the level of health literacy.|
Health Care Professionals: Involvement varies depending on consumer needs, and includes teaching consumers on how to stay healthy, and how to take care of their own health.
|Patients: Passive involvement in their in restoring their health. Seek help from professional to get rid of their illness. Take and apply instructions on getting rid of their illnesses, or preventive immunization programmes.|
Medical Care Providers: The sole actors - Investigate patient health problem (disease - mainly based on symptoms) and dictate intervention measures (mainly getting rid of the symptoms, and often not necessarily the underlying cause).
Second Revised and Enlarged Edition.