ONE of the truths underlying healthcare policy is that prevention is always better than cure — nip an illness in the bud and the threat to the patient is reduced, and pressure is taken off doctors and maybe scarce hospital beds.
That simple truth is behind yesterday’s call from the Irish Cancer Society that more doctors should work in disadvantaged areas. The society published figures that show that women in poorer communities are up to 33% more likely to die from breast cancer than more affluent women.
The report detailed how women in poorer areas are less likely to contract breast cancer. But when they do, they are more likely to die from the disease because they do not regularly visit a doctor or breast-screening services.
This argument seems a no-brainer — improved medical services on the ground in disadvantaged areas would identify this wretched disease in time to treat it in a simple way.
Not only would this save money that might be spent on other health initiatives but, much more importantly, it should lead to better outcomes for patients.
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