Impact Of Economics On Quality Of Healthcare – Essay Example
Impact of Economics on Quality of Healthcare Quality healthcare for an individual is very vital because it determines his or her well-being. Meeting expenses in provision of quality healthcare is a problem. Most insurance companies that offer healthcare insurance do not meet the full expense associated with consumer’s health decisions. Major problems affecting quality are overuse, underuse and misuse of healthcare. Overuse refers provision of certain medical services such as hysterectomy and heart surgery without appropriate reasons. Overuse also involves use of antibiotics in treatment of viral infections. Failure by the medical officer to give appropriate treatment to a patient is considered underuse. Medical errors are considered to be misuse. These problems are common in the U.S. healthcare (Gaynor, 2007).
In provision of quality services, competition and price regulation is common. Consumer’s wellbeing and quality services are better when the price is above the marginal cost (Gaynor, 2007). Age structure, geographical location and economic status affect the provision of quality healthcare. For example, in Italy, those below the age of 12 and above the age of 65 have access to free medical services and the rest of the population has to pay a fee to cover medical services. Those living in low-quality districts have access to effective treatment but they have to wait for long before they access treatment (Jappelli, Pistaferri & Weber, 2006). In a study conducted in US, differences in provision of quality healthcare were evident between states or metropolitan areas (Fuchs, McClellan and Skinner, 2004).
Quality healthcare depends on a number of factors as discussed above. The factors are closely related to the stakeholders involved; the patient, medical officer and others such as insurance companies and the government. Failure of one of them quality of services offered is low.
These issues can be addressed by formulating policies that cater for provision of equal and quality healthcare across all geographical regions.
Fuchs, V. R., McClellan, M., & Skinner, J. (2004). Area differences in utilization rates and mortality among US elderly. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Gaynor, M. (2007). Competition and quality in health care markets. Now Publishers Inc.
Jappelli, T., Pistaferri, L., & Weber, G. (2006). Health care quality, economic inequality, and precautionary saving. Heath Economics. DOI: 10.1002/hec.