Guarding Our Health

I refer to the joint interview with Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon and Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, which appeared in the December 7 Features section of Hamodia.

Thank you for giving recognition and publicity to the extraordinary and outstanding job Danny Danon is doing as Israel’s ambassador at the U.N., in New York. Mr. Danon has the knowledge, experience, courage and guts to fight, without fanfare, to achieve the goals at the U.N. to which our country, Israel, and our Nation, with G-d’s blessing, are entitled.

The same article also dealt with Minister of Health Rabbi Litzman. Therefore, I, as a former hygiene, First Aid, swim, gym and community health teacher, take the liberty, on the one hand, to praise Rabbi Litzman for his dedication to his job as health minister, and on the other hand, I want to bring to light the many changes that must take place in food production. However, there are many more serious problems that must be dealt with first to preserve health.

At present, due to the overuse of iPhones and computers, the majority of the people have become sedentary through lack of exercise; they smoke heavily and eat double portions of food, without being aware of the consequences. Cancer and heart problems are more dangerous than diabetes. In my opinion, strict regulations must be established to stop smoking in all public places, in the entire complex of hospitals or other medical facilities, including any educational facilities. If smoking takes place, it should only be in an open area outside the gates of any type of facility. Smokers should even be prohibited from smoking in the privacy of their homes, particularly where there are children.

The Sick Funds should allocate five to 10 minutes for a doctor to examine a patient, check blood pressure and do a sugar test in order to discover potential problems and address them before they get out of hand. A blood test and a urine test should be done on a regular basis — at least once, if not twice a year; more so, of course, for the elderly.

The health department should also institute nutritionists, who know what a patient should eat to balance his intake with the medicines he is taking; and not dietitians, who have knowledge on diet, but have limited education how to balance a safe nutritional program with medicines.

Rehab facilities must be under greater scrutiny by the health department for often, instead of helping a person recover, the rehab facility makes a person ill from lack of hygiene and proper care. This was my own experience less than a year ago at a rehab facility I was sent to. During my recovery period, I ended up with blood in my lungs and picked up a contagious infection, with the result that I had to be hospitalized again at the hospital where I had originally been for my orthopedic operation.

Reducing sugar in foods can never be controlled, as any individual can have access to sugar and salt and use it whenever he/she feels like it. The public must first be educated on health and nutrition. Let’s hope and pray that we achieve these goals so that people should be healthy.

Edith Lieberman, Netanya