Melbourne Functional Medicine
Medically reviewed by:
Functional medicine is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on preventing disease and promoting wellness. While the upfront costs of functional medicine may be higher than traditional care, the long-term benefits can save you money in the long run. Here's how.
Chronic diseases are largely caused by modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, lifestyle, stress and exercise that switch on genes that promote disease. By focusing on addressing these factors, and partnering with patients over the long-term to help bring about lasting change, the functional medicine approach aims to resolve a chronic condition for good. This means that the investment in care is often short-term, rather than over years or decades, as is often the case with chronic health conditions.
Because the functional medicine approach is personalised to each person, a functional medicine practitioner works closely with each patient to determine what not only makes them better, but keeps them there.
By giving you your own personalised health map along with health education, you then have the tools to manage your long term health. This approach has the potential to reduce incidences of disease, and by following dietary and lifestyle recommendations like the Mediterranean diet for longevity, leads to healthier adults as they age, reducing healthcare costs later in life.
Because conventional care tends to manage a condition rather than cure it, it frequently requires further long-term treatment such as operations, thus increasing healthcare costs over time. People with a chronic health problem also see many specialists, and are frequently out of pocket for some experts, and many tests aren’t covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
Here are some of the average out of pocket costs for some of most common chronic diseases in Australia:
On top of that, factoring in the years and decades of poor health that limits a person’s quality of life, the tendency for further chronic health problems to arise alongside their main health complaint, premature death, plus the mental and emotional toll of living with illness and receiving ongoing treatment, the common thought that today’s healthcare system is value for money quickly crumbles.
While the functional medicine cost is initially much higher than conventional healthcare, and unfortunately isn't yet subsidised by Medicare, the investment is short term. While the approach does require time to investigate the cause of health issues, and patients must make effort to make changes to factors like diet and lifestyle to improve health, the end result is often resolution of symptoms that lead to improved long term health and quality of life, making the investment worthwhile.
Curious to know more? Find out more about what functional medicine is.