Diagnostic vs Preventive Care – Here’s the Difference


In India, both communicable and non-communicable diseases are common. However, a study suggests that the latter contributes more to the country’s total disease burden.

As per a 2019 report, as many as 6.51 crore patients were screened for various diseases and ailments, with a significant percentage of them diagnosed with non-communicable diseases.

While financial instruments like a health card ease the burden of such healthcare expenditure, a more thoughtful approach to living can further help nip these expenses. Sedentary lifestyle choices like unhealthy food habits combined with external factors such as age and pollution only aggravate the chances of developing a chronic ailment.

It thus brings to question the importance of two primary medical care models – preventive and diagnostic.

Expenses on both preventive and diagnostic medical care can be deferred to a later period with the help of a health card, a financial tool that comes with various benefits. More to that later, though. Check out what preventive care and diagnostic care entail along with their differences.

What is preventive medical care?

Preventive medical care involves various screening methods adopted to identify and minimise an existing or emerging risk factor. Preventive measures can identify such risk factors for either development of diseases or those that may aggravate an existing ailment.

Various chronic healthcare issues like cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, acute respiratory issues, etc. are common today. While some may be inherited, most others are acquired through unhealthy habits in one’s day to day life.

Failure to detect such health conditions at the right time can prove to have severe effects on one’s physiology, with an increased morbidity risk. Preventive medical care can thus help reduce the risk of development of such diseases with measures like check-ups, screenings and diagnostic suggestions for further treatment if the need be.

As preventive care involves a range of tests and screenings, availing it also requires one to be financially prepared to pay for such expenses. As such, holding a health card allows one to avail healthcare costing up to a limit of Rs.4 lakh. Such funding can be utilised for other healthcare expenses such as treatments, surgeries, post-treatment consultations, etc. as well.

The likes of Bajaj Finserv Health EMI Network Card extend financial availability to all family members through a single card as well. The health card also comes with a tenor of up to 24 months for convenient repayment in EMIs.

What is diagnostic medical care?

Diagnostic care refers to medical assistance provided after the identification of an ailment. More precisely, one undergoes diagnostic care after showing signs and symptoms of a possible ailment to confirm its existence.

This type of care can also extend to tests and check-ups conducted during the various stages of treatment for the confirmation of its effectiveness and the remaining term of treatment. Not to mention, the benefits of funding means such as health cards apply to diagnostic care as well.

With this understanding of the difference between the meaning of preventive and diagnostic care, take a look at the major points that further mark their distinction.

Difference between preventive and diagnostic medical care

  1. Preventive care is undertaken for early risk factor identification to avoid the development of an ailment in the body. Diagnostic care, on the contrary, serves to identify, monitor and treat an ailment after the symptoms surface.
  2. The outcome of the former is early detection of an underlying medical condition, while for the latter; the outcome is a treatment to cure such ailment identified.
  3. Preventive care can be undertaken both before risk factor identification and after treatment completion. Diagnostic care is addressed only after symptom identification.
  4. The former is mostly voluntary while the latter is undergone after the concerned healthcare practitioner prescribes it.
  5. Examples of preventive care include screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, mental health such as depression, mammograms, etc. In the case of diagnostic care, examples include tests like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests for disease recognition, and the likes.

While this was all about the differences between these two options, one must know that to stay covered for these, he/she needs to avail separate health insurance policies. Such policies may also come with exclusions, limiting their scope of financing.

Thus, availing a health card can be a step towards both preventive and diagnostic medical care. These cards not only provide financing for a wide range of medical expenses but also extend their utility to all major cities across the country.

You can also apply for a health card with minimum hassle and receive immediate approval to meet emergency healthcare expenditure requirements. Your health card status can also be checked online without any hassle.