Dr Raza Seddiqi, executive director, RAK Hospital and CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, has observed natural human response to disease and sickness very closely over the years and attributes fear as the main deterrent. “As human beings, people have an ostrich-like approach towards preventive cancer screening. They don’t want to know, and the fear of being diagnosed with cancer serves as a strong deterrent. They are also scared of the repercussions that come with the disease — losing jobs and ostracism, for example. I know of many educated people — including doctors — who inadvertently avoid preventive screening, pushing it at the back of their minds and not giving it due importance. Even free health check-ups do not convince them to go for it.”

He added: “The cost factor comes second because in most cases, insurance does not cover preventive screening. I feel this reinforces the denial factor, giving people yet another excuse not to opt for it. Having said that, I think if somebody is convinced that prevention is better than cure, they will spend any amount of money on their health check-ups. As for cultural sensitivities being a deterrent, it probably figures last on the list.

Published: gulfnews.com | October 27, 2015

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