Letters Non-communicable disease

Why we should emphasise prevention over treatment of non-communicable disease

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4888 (Published 02 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4888
  1. Richard Smith, director, UnitedHealth Chronic Disease Initiative1
  1. 1London SW4 0LD, UK
  1. richardswsmith{at}yahoo.co.uk

I sympathise with Heath’s anxiety about turning people into “patients” by identifying those at risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), but is she really advocating that we wait until people are “sick” and then have them looked after by doctors?1 She seems to argue for treatment rather than prevention.

Her thinking perhaps flows from an attachment to the medical model. She …

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