The Economics of Medicine - What's Lacking

/ Wednesday, March 28, 2007 /
So Flor introduced me to a really interesting blog yesterday called Medicine and Economics. Being interested in Economics and the fiscal side of just about everything I began reading and decided to start at the beginning of the blogs archives, August 2006.

This post is very interesting as it is about the industries lack of the "Coke" or "Walmart" branded health care option. The author brings up the point that Walmart and Coke bring basic products that people want and sometimes need to the general public for a small price and extreme convenience whereas health care is not offered for low cost and high convenience anywhere.

I find this post even more interesting because I was just talking to Flor one day ago about the need for speedy high volume, low margin health care procedures.

Now I was at the time thinking about high cost specialized procedures such as CAT Scans, etc. but this same model works even better for small stuff such as "my kids ear hurts", or "what does this rash look like to you", or "does this finger look broken or jammed?"

Basic medical checkups should follow the Walmart approach, high volume traffic, in-and-out, at razor thin margins. After all, this is the basic premise of capitalism. With high volume you serve more people and you can then stand proud that not only are you making money but you are doing a service to the entire community.

There are two good quotes from Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company:

"The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life. "
"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

Why can't we apply these principals to medicine? ...and lets pay our Walmart employees a pinch more too while we're at it.

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