Inflation can be defined as a dramatic rise in the cost of living. Basic commodities would cost too high while they would be rare to find. The currency of that particular society would consequently drop in its value since there would be more money than the goods produced. Economy on the other hand refers to the economic power of a given country. How much it can afford to sustain its people without relying on foreign debts is a key economic indicator of its stability, e.g. in domestic production, military defense etcetera. Healthcare refers to the quality, affordability, and accessibility of medical services. This ensures the citizens are bodily and mentally robust and free from diseases.
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The economy of any civilization bears upon virtually all aspects of life among its people. The economy, for instance, would determine a country’s technological research and development, healthcare, quality of education, and infrastructure. All these spheres influence the social, cultural, and religious behavior of its people. The economy as well determines a nation’s place in international politics. The G8 countries are representative of their economic might, for instance. To lack money, therefore, would be equivalent to lacking other constituents of economic power, including good healthcare.
Given that the economy affects all spheres of life, it would be impossible to talk about the impact of inflation and poor economics on healthcare, including the relevant interconnected areas. The first point to examine is the impact of poor economic policies on healthcare. The first economic malpractice is budgetary misappropriations. This also comprises the embezzlement of the resources allocated to healthcare (Amnesty International, 2010).
Some countries have got less priority for medical welfare and invest so little in it. This leads to a high cost of treatment that makes good health an exclusive preserve of a few. They sarcastically choose to invest exaggeratedly in weapons and attack other countries while their people find it expensive to be treated when taken ill. A case in point is the recent economic downturn in the US and the world over. It is worth remembering that China had to intervene for financial security. Yet it is also ironic that the same country had a crisis due to reluctance in approving the medical bill that would waiver certain medical costs and cut some taxes on drugs. The graph shows the impact of the performance of the economy on the cost of healthcare (Mankiw, 2008).
When the government increases its investment from S1 to S2, the equilibrium cost of healthcare falls from CH1 to CH2. At this lower cost of healthcare, more people access healthcare services easily, so the number of people accessing the services rises from N1 to N2. The change in the cost of healthcare reflects a change in the value of the marginal number of people living healthy (Mankiw, 2008).
Another economic malpractice that affects healthcare is a poor investment in agricultural production. We all know that good health comes from good food among other things. It is no wonder Phoebach the philosopher says man is what he eats. Health farm would serve a similar purpose. Reduced production of agricultural products leads to dependence on food imports and hand outs(Sowell, 2008). Most food imports however are rarely fresh but bottled since they are perishables. Yet this bottled or ‘junk’ food has dire repercussions. The gravest is perhaps high level of cancer and America is a case in point. The chemicals in the additives and preservatives used in such foods also pose a significant danger.
Interestingly enough, the health practices in a country are immensely determined by its type of economy. An industrial economy, for example has a highly developed medical system made possible by advanced technology. It is in such a society that medical advancement occurs like plastic surgery, excessive usage of cosmetics and a high tendency of drug abuse like self injection with drugs. These certainly have a deadly impact on health. Plastic surgery has been occasioning deaths. The same does drug abuse that took away the life of Michael Jackson due to an overdose. Cosmetics make it difficult for a surgical operation in the event of an accident.
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An agrarian economy on the other hand depends largely on agricultural production. Mostly in such economies food is abundant while technology is quite undeveloped. Farming and cash crop production would make natural food available. This in turn promotes good health. However the economy cannot flourish here unless strategic economic policies are developed. One such policy is to ensure a ready market for the goods produced to prevent wastage and establish a viable import/export policy framework. This would prevent vices like over-taxation of farmers and guarantee reasonable prices of goods, favorable for both producers and consumers. Hence, good health would be affordable to both farmers and non farmers at affordable costs. It would also enhance economic rationalism (Krugman, 2009).
Further, unprofessional practices within the medical fraternity cause much harm to the medical welfare of any society. Such practices include secret abortion by doctors, selling of lab equipment, overdosing of patients, stealing and trafficking of newborns. Such could be traced to the economics of a given society. It could be that medics are poorly paid. In addition, it could be that the government does not invest adequately in the education of physicians hence goofs like overdosing. The government could also invest more in the refresher courses of medical practitioners to cater for things like professional ethics (Krugman, 2009).
Lack of sufficient facilities in hospitals and other amenities like health centers adversely affects healthcare. It is alarming, for instance, that a lady who has newly delivered is discharged on the same day due to lack of accommodation apparatus. This is squarely an economic blunder. It could be that our annual fiscal budgets do not give healthcare a priority. It is true that in a developing economy scarcity of resources may be a factor. But it is also ironic to notice that it is such economies that invest much in weaponry and are ever belligerent, like many African countries e.g. Sudan.
Iraq and Kuwait in the Middle East are also undeveloped yet they have rich oil deposits. This implies it’s more of poor economics than poverty. A sound practice would be to subsidize the cost of drugs and medical access. Besides, private entrepreneurship can also be regulated in their costs of healthcare to prevent exploitation. Moreover, in the recent past research has indicated that medicines though cure, have vehement side effects. As a result, some medical foundations have come up with herbal medicines and products (Sowell, 2008).
From the above exposition, it is evident that good healthcare is grounded in healthy economic strategizing. Problems like scarcity of drugs are a result of poor economic planning which leads to inflation hence affecting health. It is therefore reasonable enough to conclude that lack of ability to afford and access to healthcare are a byproduct of poor economics.
Amnesty International. (2010). “Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Questions and Answers.” Amnesty International. Web.
Krugman, R. W. (2009). Economics. New York: Worth Publishers.
Mankiw, N. G. (2008). Principles of Economics. New Delhi: South-Western College Pub.
Sowell, T. (2008). Economic Facts and Fallacies. New York: Basic Books.