Prevention can be better than a cure

Published on May 26, 2017

To the editor:  

Apparently all three main political parties see healthcare as a priority in the election. Some tinkering with the existing system and throwing more money at the problem seems to be the default position taken by all. I have serious doubts that more of what hasn’t worked in the past will produce positive results.

Personally, I believe prevention is always better than a cure. Rather than finding more money and new treatments for healthcare problems, we should be addressing the causes.

Many of the issues troubling our residents relate to poor dietary choices and are exacerbated by over medication as treatments for self-inflicted illness.

I know that is a harsh statement, but it happens to be true. Watch in any supermarket and you will see grocery carts filled with bottles of soft drinks, bags of chips, cookies, and prepared foods like pizza. Look at the people and you will see extreme obesity, the natural result of overconsumption of those same products.

Add in the consequences of too little exercise, and the negative rewards of smoking and alcohol consumption and it should not be surprising that we have grave health issues.

Prevention may be our only means of addressing another source of monumental increases in healthcare costs. In this case it will be dependent on our insisting that something not be done. That something is the introduction of fracking into Nova Scotia.

There is well-documented evidence that major health issues arise where ever fracking is carried out. These issues include greater incidences of cancer, respiratory disease, neurological disorders and serious skin ailments, among others. And that does not even consider the consequences for farm animals, wildlife, or fruit and vegetable production.

If we open the province up for fracking we can expect a great increase in serious health issues. That would overpower even our election-inspired promises of more healthcare spending. It would also lead to much unnecessary suffering among our families and friends.

Although we currently have a moratorium on fracking, I am not convinced that our Liberal government is truly committed to this stand. Should the PC’s form the next government it is entirely likely that they will allow fracking. Although Mr. Baillie has stated his policy as “developing the energy industry in Nova Scotia,” that can only mean fracking.

Regardless of who wins the 2017 election, this issue will not go away. Only a strong and lasting public response against fracking will do. We must prevent it.

Once done there will be no cure.

Orland Kennedy,