Well-Being – A Doctor’s Perspective

WHO definition of Health:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. (The Definition has not been amended since 1948).
Well-being definition:
The state of being happy, healthy or prosperous.
Mother Teresa:
You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is.
Local GP experience:
Wallace House Surgery, 13,500 patients from Hertford and surrounding villages.
This is an affluent community with only small pockets of social deprivation compared to the rest of the UK.
Rhetorical question:    What proportion of my patients would consider themselves to be in a state of “health” or “well-being”?
eg. Patients with Diabetes / Depression / Stroke / Cancer / Drug or Alcohol Misuse:
  • physical symptoms
  • test results
  • review medication
  • lifestyle issues
  • well-being
Local Resources for Well-Being?
  • current economic climate
  • pressure on public funds
  • health target – blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer survival rates etc
  • “well-being” not a measured health target yet highly relevant
  • new local “well-being” resource most welcome and can be put to excellent use