Good health easy to maintain nowadays
There is a huge variety of diseases in the world. People will suffer if they are not treated. Luckily we have advanced technology and medicine. In the past, patients didn't have access to things that we now take for granted, so many of them died due to insufficient treatment. Modern technology avoids many tragedies.
What's more, updated medical information can be easily found on the internet or in magazines. Hospitals provide patients with detailed information. We are told how to maintain a healthy life, and prevent diseases.
We are far luckier than people in the past, and we should make the most of our good health.
Ho Wai-sze, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)
From the Editor
Thank you for your thoughtful letter, Wai-sze. You're right that we are luckier than people in the past when it comes to our health. Many diseases that once spelled a death sentence, such as measles and malaria, can now relatively easily and cheaply be prevented and cured.
But not all medical advances are necessarily good news.
For example, there is a huge amount of 'medical' advice on the internet. But not all of it is accurate. What's more, just because you have some symptoms that match a serious disease, it doesn't mean you have that disease. People can get unnecessarily scared if they try to self-diagnose.
Another problem with modern medicine is an over-reliance on drugs. Many people will go to the doctor just because they have a cold. In Hong Kong especially, doctors seem to hand out a lot of different pills to help you get over the cold. But there is no cure for a cold. These medicines will only ease the symptoms. Going to the doctor in this case could actually make you worse, as you might pick up something more serious from another person. What's more, taking antibiotics too often can lower your body's natural resistance to disease.
To make the most of the wonderful advances in medicine, we must use our common sense. There are many ways to stay healthy without drugs, and when we do need medical intervention, it's wonderful to know that we have modern medicine on our side.
Karly, Deputy Editor