Huron medical officer of health says prevention can help address hallway medicine

Doctor Maarten Bokhout – Acting Medical Officer of Health, Huron County

The acting medical officer of health for Huron County says public health agencies have a role to play in reducing what’s called hallway medicine.

However, Dr. Maarten Bokhout said the challenge for them is that the benefits are seldom immediate.

“If we can tell people this is what you need to do to avoid getting sick with some awful condition, that helps. The difficulty that we often face is that the advice we give prevents the problem from happening a number of years down the road,” said Bokhout.

The example he gives is that reducing exposure to direct sun or using the appropriate sunscreen can reduce the chances of getting cancer. However, the benefit is definitely not immediate but could be several years later.

“I like to think if you keep giving the message, the core message is the same but the way we present it is different, but if you use the fact that you’re basically based on fact and not some kind of myth, that eventually people begin to appreciate what you’re saying,” said Bokhout.