“As seen in Signature Magazine, the official publication of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra”
IT’S AN INTERESTING PHENOMENON. Canadians spend a staggering $280 billion per year on life insurance, but less than 3% of that on preventive health services to improve their chances of living longer. More and more people are now realizing that they really don’t have life insurance at all—just “death” insurance. And so a whole new industry is being born.
Think about it. You spend a lot of money and effort making sure your family is taken care of when you die. Have you thought about how much you invest in your health to make sure you live the longest, healthiest life possible? Isn’t that what your family really wants?
“More and more people are seeing the light on this every day”, says Don Copeman, founder of the Copeman Healthcare Centres. “It has resulted in a rapidly growing market for premium health services that begins with prevention and gold standard family medicine.” The result is a new style of medical clinic that is focused on preventive health services, but also offers day-to-day doctor care with a long-overdue focus on quality of service, including unhurried and on time appointments.
The Copeman Healthcare organization, with facilities in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and West Vancouver, is fast becoming Canada’s recognized leader in this area. It was a pioneer in expert, team-based primary healthcare and the use of advanced technologies to tackle the troubling issue of undiagnosed illness and disease for middle-aged Canadians.
“Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of heart disease or stroke and 32% of all deaths in Canada are the result of cardiovascular disease,” says Copeman. “We can do a lot to reduce these numbers, but it requires new ways of thinking, both for the patient and the provider. That’s because 50% of people with heart problems do not show symptoms visible to their family doctor.”
Copeman goes on to say that great results can be achieved with cancer, which is actually the leading cause of premature death in Canada. “People need more personalized attention to help them understand their risk factors for cancer, and to help them make the changes that will reduce overall risk.”
Preventing disease altogether is the ultimate goal of this new style of clinic, but many of their patients arrive with disease already taking hold, so screening and early detection is the next area of focus. “Whether it’s cancer, cardiovascular disease, or any other condition, we need to detect disease at the stage where treatment is most successful”, says Copeman.
Early results are already in. Copeman says that over 30% of people who come into their clinics have an undiagnosed condition. Of those patients, 70% will have conditions that significantly increase their health risks and warrant immediate medical attention.
An interesting challenge for these clinics is that people are often afraid to come in and have something discovered, even though they understand that it could very well save their life if something is diagnosed early.
According to Copeman, “Even though we do discover a great deal of undiagnosed disease in people, each of those people is now on a path to optimal health. This is what these reluctant people need to understand. You can’t just close your eyes and hope nothing is wrong with you. It could end up being the biggest risk you’ve ever taken.”
The approach being used at the Copeman clinics, like other such “medical boutiques,” is to combine the preventive healthcare expertise of doctors with other professionals such as registered dietitians, exercise medicine specialists and nurses. Patients are seen leaving the doors clutching their “health plans” and surfing high technology websites that can securely display their medical charts, laboratory results, health goals and personalized education. Some of these centres, like Copeman, have on-site psychologists and psychiatrists to make sure the brain is as healthy as the body.
The price tag? At a full service clinic like the Copeman Healthcare Centre, a comprehensive program including all medical services is $3,495 per year per adult ($4,495 in the first year). However, most of these clinics offer programs to fit smaller budgets. For more information on Edmonton’s most advanced multidisciplinary private health centre, including an on-line tour, visit us at www.copemanhealthcare.com.