SHOULD ANNUAL CHECKUPS BE SCRAPPED?

Or in fact is an annual checkup a waste of time and money.  Dr. Danielle Martin of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto says “There is no good evidence that a screening annual health examination improves people’s  health.  Most engage in this practice but there is no medical evidence to support it.”

In British Columbia the annual checkup is not considered medically necessary so it’s legal for the doctor to bill the patient – a high as $125.

Some governments want to scrap the annual physicial because it costs boatloads of money and does not deliver measurable health benefits.  One doctor says “It is outdated to have a review of every system of the body.  Examining someone when they are healthy is very low yield.”

What is the point  of performing useless exams on healthy bodies?

Should those who want annual physicals pay for them – up to $125.00?

Do you normally get an annual check-up?

Should annual checkups be scrapped?

What do you think?

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16 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    People GO to annual check-ups? Really? Never did it. Don’t see the point.

  2. 2
    Jim Says:

    The only reason why I do the annuals, is to get my prescription renewed. Otherwise scrap it. However, is there an alternative?

  3. 3

    For some folks, an check -up passes for a social calendar. For others-not me,of course-it may be the only time anybody is interested in seeing us in our skivvies. so,the check-up can stay.

  4. 4
    Neil McKenty Says:

    The reason I o for an annual checkup is to ascertain whether I have a condition such ass colon cancer. Seems like a good enough reason for me.

  5. 5

    Neat typo, Neil.

    On a serious note, a good MD will notice subtle and serious changes ,which we may not understand,or notice at all. This is from personal experience.

  6. 6

    I find this subject has incredible implications in the healthcare area。。。for the United States!

    There is an insurance program called “High Deductible” Insurance that has yet to gain a foothold because of precisely this issue. An insurance program with a high deductible — say, $50,000 or $100,000 — would mean a huge decrease in premiums because the insured would have to bear the costs of minor health and medicals treatments (such as annual visits) himself. It is meant to only cover “catastrophic” costs, such as major surgeries or injuries.

    One of the main objections to “allowing” High Deductible programs (not sure but....

  7. 7

    ...Ithink they're outlawed) is that if people had to pay for things such as annual checkups they wouldn't do it and, as such, preventative medicine wouldn't be practised. That is, greater diseases the costs associated with them would not be avoided。

    Now here comes along the Canadian system claiming that the penultimate tool of preventative medicine -- the annual checkup -- isn't necessary! 

    I hope American policymakers are payingattention to this!

  8. 8

    I didn’t know that people went for “annual” check ups either. (Aren’t we spoiled!)
    Some of us blogging here are “getting on” (not “getting it on”-but that’s okay too) and we have various chronic conditions like High BP, Diabetes, Colitis, etc. and we need to be monitored, often…every 3-6 months.
    I think that anyone without chronic conditions can take a pass on frequent check ups unless they are having some symptoms. I suggest, if a person hasn’t been checked for 5 years, and go to the Dr. for a cold, they should ask to be blood/urine tested.
    So…I vote N O! Some companies ask for a check up, but wouldn’t the group insurance cover that?

  9. 9

    I don’t think they are legally allowed) is that if instituted, they would discourage preventative medicine, such as annual checkups, which are designed to catch early stages of disease and, thus, prevent future suffering and the high costs associated with diseases. Now, here comes along Canadians saying the major keystone of universal healthcare is not necessary and is a waste of money! Well, Ihope American public policy makers are reading about it because this should influence their debate!

  10. 10

    PS: And here’s another job that could be done by pharmacists and nurse practicioners: Drawing blood, checking and writing script for tests.

  11. 11

    I never did see the point of annual check-ups. I do see my doctor several times a year, but with the medication I’m on, it’s a necessary thing. Before it became necessary, I didn’t see a doctor for years at a time.

    However, at no time should anyone in Canada have to pay separately for the services of a physician when we already pay for them in our health care premiums.

  12. 12
    Paul Says:

    If you are not seeing a doctor regularly for other reasons then an annual checkup is a good thing. I went for my first one this past year and a cancer that I would otherwise not have had a clue about was discovered. Surgery has taken care of it but to quote my surgeon “I think we got it in the nick of time.” I will always be grateful to my doctor who suggested I take the need for an annual checkup more seriously.

  13. 13

    Tony, Spit it out ! Don’t mince words!
    Seriously, what does that?
    Tony, don’t answer that, I can’t read squares.

  14. 14

    Lady J.

    Paul has it right. I used to have the same idea- I`m 56 now,by the way. I figured that if I exercised regularly, watched my diet and such,why bother.

    I `m, one of the few people who didn`t get intense pain from a herniated disc,so I didn`t notice anything seriously wrong,such as my walking slowing,and a clumsy feeling when running.I noticed it,but paid it no mind. Plus , I had no GP.

    One morning, my foot got tangled up in my bed sheets, and it just flopped around. In the end, I needed emergency surgery to take out a disc and keep from becoming paralysed. I still limp,but it`s manageable,with a brace.

    That was five years ago. maybe,just maybe, a checkup with a good doc would have seen something early on.

  15. 15

    Sorry, littlepatti and everyone else, I was working on a computer that is playing havoc with the fonts.

  16. 16

    I’ve changed my mind. Everyone should have regular medical check ups. Interesting that two men reported latent conditions. Maybe women take care of themselves “differently”. Most of us have had children, and know that we need Pap tests frequently, and we have have issues that send us to our Doctors at least once a year. I am 69 and have had several surgeries, starting at age 23 with tonsils. My husband is 74 and has had zero, up to last year when he had a broken ankle pinned. I make sure that he gets bloods done and gets looked at, or he probably wouldn’t go.
    Having said that, I think that some procedures could be done more efficiently and cheaply, and the medical system can not support the fraud and overuse.


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