Preventive health check-ups should not be ignored
People are sceptical about sharing details about their medical history and lifestyle problems because they think it will affect their chances of getting promoted
Any company that is serious about the health of its employees should initiate preventive health check-ups. All efforts of making a health and wellness package more comprehensive will fall flat if this basic step isn’t effectively executed. According to industry analysts, in the last few years preventive healthcare market has seen a growth of over 25 per cent.
An ICRIER research paper points out that workplace has become a critical place for successful prevention strategies and the employers have an important role to play in changing the sedentary lifestyles of employees. They can do this by facilitating employees to recognise the importance of crucial things like physical activity, preventive health check-ups etc.
While companies are fast realising the importance of such measures, here are a few common gaps which are noticed during the selection of health check-up services by organisations:
1. Buying mass packages: When it comes to preventive check-up packages, the HR often focuses on buying some set packages (sometimes one package) from the service providers. These may be on the basis of age, sex, hierarchy etc. This will automatically result in everyone going for the same tests, every time. An ideal start is a comprehensive preventive health check-up followed by guidance about future course of action.
2. Going for basic health check-ups: Basic health check-ups are necessary but unless they are combined with a comprehensive preventive health check-up, they don’t give much information about a person’s health. Preventive healthcare isn’t only about basic test. Opting for such packages as a routine won’t do much good. They are more of a do-and-forget exercise and it is difficult to engage people with such initiatives.
3. Trust issue often comes as a problem: Sometimes people are sceptical about sharing details of their medical history, lifestyle problems etc because they think it will affect their chances of getting promoted. There is a clear trust issue here. In cases where senior management engages with initiative details in sync with it’s importance for the employees with beneficial factors well communicated, , the attendance automatically increases.
Tips to make this intervention successful
1. Select a package based on age, sex, physical movement involved in the job etc. Instead of selecting one package for everyone, broader packages for different population should be opted. For instance, women above 35 should have sono mammography and pap-smear test as a part of their package. Similarly, triglyceride, cholesterol, ECG test etc should be done for everyone above 25 years.
2. It is essential for the employer to facilitate the pursuit of health by employees. If a senior leader goes for preventive healthcare test and talks extensively about it with his employees, they would feel connected to it and won’t look at it as a time wasting exercise. Many companies are taking smart steps like combining preventive health check-ups with counselling for lifestyle changes. And the results are there for everyone to see.
3. Along with the right package, it is also about the right service provider. If employees have a tough time in getting an appointment, are uncomfortable with the way tests are conducted and are clueless about it, they would not want to go through it again.
4. Just conducting tests and sharing their reports doesn’t make much sense because people don’t exactly understand the medical terms in their reports. . Such tests cannot be conducted mechanically; it is essential that doctors and counsellors help them through the sessions and at the end guide them about the probable problems and the outcome of tests.