“Health is not merely the absence of disease but a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being”. Therefore, the way to stay healthy will logically include these three important elements.

For me, the most important element is that of the mental state of health. I recently complimented a 96 year old patient who looked and behaved a lot younger than her chronological age would otherwise suggest. She replied that this was due to her not having negative attitudes to others and always being thankful for her circumstances in life. Having worked with many less fortunate societies than that found in Gibraltar, I can certainly relate to this outlook and agree that we should count our blessings. This is the first step to staying mentally healthy which in turn leads to maintaining physical health as one’s mood is intimately connected to one’s body.

Regarding the physical side of health, people ought to be aware of their past family history as this can strongly influence present or future illnesses. This can include heart disease, certain types of serious illnesses such as colon or breast cancers, as well as diabetes and other diseases. My global well-man, well-woman approach to patients means that I can prevent or quickly identify such issues before they become entrenched. My public health speciality background has allowed my practice to be preventive and health fostering whilst also comprehensively diagnostic or curative as required.

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