Take care of your personal health
Personal health is the key to individual and family wellness, so it’s important to take care of yourself. The Department of Health recommends that to do so, one should:
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle
- Visit their doctor for regular check-ups
- Know and maintain healthy numbers for BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol
For more information, see the Department of Health’s Caribbean Wellness Day Love That Body leaflet (www.health.gov.bm) and review the tips below on visiting your healthcare professional.
Tips for getting the most value for money out of your healthcare dollars
Having decided to seek advice on, or treatment for, a health-related condition or ailment from a health professional, a health care consumer should:
- Decide exactly what you are seeking advice or treatment for – prepare, in your mind or on paper, a description of the ailment or health condition.
- Decide which type of professional you want to attend for the advice or treatment – a General Practitioner (GP) or a specialist, keeping in mind the possibility that: 1) You may have to seek consultation from a GP first before some specialists will see you; and, 2) If you are able to go directly to a specialist you may be required to pay for the visit yourself as many insurance company health plans only cover specialist visits by plan members who are referred to the specialist by a GP.
- Enquire about the cost of an office consultation and evaluation; ask about insurance coverage of the visit, and the amount of any co-payments or upfront fees required by the practitioner on the day of service.
- Verify that the health professional is licensed to practice in Bermuda.
- Write down all questions you wish to ask of the professional at the consultation.
- Bring a pen and paper to take note of important facts and directions the professional may give you at the consultation.
- Create a list of all prescription medications and vitamin supplements that you are currently taking.
At the appointment you should:
- Arrive on time
- Check in at the front desk
- Be truthful and share all health and medical information with the health professional.
- Ask questions if you do not understand the health professional’s findings or instructions. Take Notes.
- Acquaint yourself with relevant details of the professional’s office such as telephone numbers, email address, hours of operation.
After the visit:
- Understand your diagnosis and any instructions to you from the health professional. The internet is an inexhaustible source of information on all issues concerning health and medicine.
- Do not be afraid to get a second opinion from another professional.
- Review your notes and if you have questions, call the professional.
- Call to follow up on any test results.
- Keep a personal record of your health and medical treatment.
- Eat a balanced diet, control portion size.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation.
For Health Advice and Information
The NHS Direct Health & Symptoms Checker is an excellent resource if you are worried about your health or a dependant’s.