According to The National, an English publication in Abu Dhabi, 87% of people are now caring for themselves at home. A survey was conducted by “YouGov Siraj on behalf of the UAE division of Healthy People” which showed that people are now treating themselves before even going to see a doctor for a consultation.
Source: The National, 17/01/11
Residents playing doctor in the house
Healthy People, a health communications agency set up in Dubai last month, was formed in response to the survey’s results, which also revealed that almost 50 per cent chose health as a concern over financial prosperity, job security or job satisfaction.
However, six out of 10 GCC residents said that they would describe themselves as “unhealthy” and “in need of making lifestyle changes”.
“There is a need for a new kind of medical communication and a new approach – one that speaks directly to the patient, not the doctor,” said Nadim Khoury, the managing director of Healthy People.
“The average individual is no longer the passive patient of a few years back who gets all his information from the doctor.”
Instead, said Mr Khoury, patients were “self-informed”, turning to medical series on television such as ER, House and Grey’s Anatomy, or using the internet to self-diagnose, self-treat and learn about symptoms and illnesses.
“It’s more than that; there are now health magazines targeting every ethnicity, a strong awareness of health in the media, as well as word-of-mouth, of course, and talking to one’s friends. This means if they are choosing to self-medicate, we have to put them on the right track.”