Personal invitations for check-ups upon reaching the age of risk rather than the first symptoms


2022 06 22


In the first quarter of this year, more than 84 thousand people, registered at medical institutions in Vilnius and Alytus districts, were reminded of check their health based on available prevention programmes. The thing is, they have reached the age of the greatest risk of cervical, breast, prostate, colon cancer or cardiovascular diseases, and it was time for their regular check-up. However, residents, interviewed by the health insurance funds experts often said they had not paid attention to this important invitation. Thus, the health insurance funds organised an Illness Prevention Week and informed all of the visitors of the opportunity to check their health in person.

During the one-week initiative, 11 service divisions of Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund (THIF)  in Vilnius and Alytus informed more than 2 thousand residents of the health check-ups, covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance for certain age groups under five prevention programmes and handed out memos. The purpose of this initiative was to increase public awareness of illness prevention and responsibility for their health.

‘Preventive check-ups save lives, enabling to diagnose illnesses or an increased risk of illness in the near future early. Early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases can help prevent it by simply making certain adjustments in the diet and lifestyle. Meanwhile, early diagnosis of cancer and timely treatment significantly decreases the likelihood of its unexpected strike in the future. However, time is crucial – people should start checking their health as soon as they reach the age of risk, rather than notice the first symptoms. This fact was reminded to visitors of all ages, thus increasing awareness not only among the people that should already register for their check-ups, but also will reach that age in the future.’ said Lina Vitkauskienė, Head of the Population Service Division of Vilnius THIF.

Discussing illness prevention with the residents, THIF experts noticed that quite a few people are well aware of the preventive programmes and the fact that they can check their health upon reaching a certain age free of charge by simply contacting their general physician. However, some of the visitors have mentioned that they feel well and cannot find the time to visit their GP solely for a preventive check-up. Others yet, were mistaken and thought that they have not reached the necessary age. This part of the population was explained the importance of checking their health before noticing the first symptoms.

The age range eligible to preventive programmes is determined by the European Commission and the World Health Organisation, based on scientific research results. This issue also received active visitor suggestions, such as starting to check women for breast cancer since 40 years old, and offer a wider age range for cardiovascular diseases, particularly in men. This shows that some people take preventive check-ups very seriously.

During the Illness Prevention Week, the majority of the THIF visitors willingly listened about prevention and people that belong to the risk age groups, but have not taken part at prevention programmes before, asked for more detailed information. Visitors that do not yet belong to the eligible age groups were encouraged to share the information received with their family members and friends that have already reached the necessary age. THIF staff also reminded that all persons with insurance coverage should immediately contact their general practitioners in case of any health issues to receive timely medical aid.

Both general practitioners and THIF find it not easy to reach the people that have not yet encountered any health issues. However, Vilnius THIF representative believes that they must continue their work and find ways to encourage people’s conscious desire to engage in illness prevention, whenever they have a chance, such as the five illness prevention programmes.

Information of Vilnius Territorial Health Insurance Fund

(Vilnius THIF pict.)

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