If your looking health insurance comparisons, ask yourself the following question: What is my definition of health? You see most people think, that once you have insurance, you will be ok and that you will get the treatment you need! However too often the treatment is not effective. The treatment will certainly involve a lot of tests and then prescribed drugs, with lots of side effects.

Health does not always mean, what is in your interest. It is very difficult to separate health from, the interests of Government and the pharmaceutical industry. Do you really think the minister for health puts patients first? No. Governments put the consultants first, jobs in health care and jobs in the pharmaceutical industry first.

You see the health care system is not really a health care system. It’s a sick care system. The best health insurance is to take responsibility for your health today. Don’t put it in the care of a health insurance company and hope for the best. The best health insurance is to eat healthy food, exercise and find psychological peace, using mindfulness techniques, yoga or prayer. Health is your wealth. All the stress trying to get that promotion at work, will eventually lead to ill health. Ok if you can afford health care insurance and do yoga great. But that’s not me.

The last time I saw an advertisement for health care insurance, I was on the Luas, in Dublin. The psychology of the advertisement was based on fear. Most insurance companies appeal to your vulnerability and fears.

I grew up in Wicklow and my family came from Kerry. My father and his two brothers all died from heart disease. Every time we went to a funeral in Kerry, we would say that’s the last Irish breakfast (Fry) were having, as we finished off the sausages! However, I did decide that I was going to take care of my health and developed an interest in alternative health systems e.g., herbal medicine and eastern techniques to try and avoid that early death.

I really believe the best health insurance comparison you can make is to compare the lives of people like the Okinawa people who live the longest on the planet mainly due to hard work, plant based diet, practicing meditation and social solidarity. Try to adopt a new practice to reduce stress, this will make it easier to eat health and feel better. You see it’s a vicious cycle. Stress leads to poor food choices, alcohol to relax and sugar to lift us up.

I am not alone in not having health insurance as many of us number one, can’t afford it and number two, don’t trust that we will get the treatments we need, or at least treatments that don’t make us worse.

Maybe I would be less critical of health insurance in Ireland, if you were able to avail of treatments of your choice, e.g., herbal medicine. Then maybe I could work in a hospital. Imagine we integrating herbal medicine into hospital care! Ok the pharmaceutical reps wouldn’t like it, as maybe more people would choose herbs. But at least you could have a choice.

If you got to the end of this article, I would like you to start thinking health in a deeper way and take control of your heath, both physical and mental health. So the next time your considering health insurance in Ireland, ask them what are they really insuring? Insuring their treatments or your wellbeing?