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What Does It Cost To Keep The World Healthy?

Sep 26, 2018 by

As it currently stands, the world is in a truly amazing place when it comes to medicine. Procedures which would often come with massive risks in the past are now completely safe, and more people than ever before have easy access to the treatment they need. Of course, though, when something is so far reaching and has to serve so many, it is bound to cost a small fortune. To give you an idea of the costs which come with the healthcare industry, this post is going to be exploring some of them, giving you an idea of what needs to be budgeted to make this sort of operation work.

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Research & Education

Before anyone can be provided with medical care, a huge amount of research has to be done, and this is the first cost which needs to be considered. Scientists, test subjects, and other employees along the way all have to be paid, along with buildings and other resources being essential to the process. In the US, it’s estimated the cost of bringing a single drug to the market can go up to around $5.5 billion. This number is staggeringly high, making it near impossible for new companies to join the industry, while also passing a lot of the costs down to the people who need them.

Along with paying for treatments to be made, it’s also a good idea to think about what it costs to bring a doctor up to the standards they need to be able to work. On the side of the student, it can cost upwards of $40,000 per year to go through college to enter this sort of career. While loans are available and grants can often be awarded to make these costs more manageable, the money has to come from somewhere, with the resources required for this sort of education being staggering. This high expense is turning a lot of people away from the prospect of being in the medical field, especially when they have to pay for it themselves.

Hospitals & Other Establishments

The costs which come with healthcare don’t stop with the research and education which have to go into them, though. To make sure that people can actually get their treatments, hospitals have to be used, and this is another pricey area. Employees, resources, and the building itself all have to be paid for, often putting financial strain on private companies which try to run for a profit. A single bed in the average hospital in the USA can cost over $2000 per day to keep running. Over the course of a year, this can send the operational costs of a place like this into the millions, and this explains why it can cost so much for seemingly regular treatments.

When a company wants to start out in the world of medicine, they often can’t afford to pay these sorts of prices. Instead, they need to have something smaller, and this is where examples like clinics will come in. They can often provide similar treatment to a big hospital, but could lack the range of experience and knowledge which something with hundreds of doctors will have access to. This is very important when a patient is looking to be treated. In some cases, this can lead people to having to go to several different places to get the help they need.

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Medicines & Treatments

Medicines and treatments should be some of the cheapest resources in the world. Unfortunately, though, with the profit which can be made in this area, it’s easy for businesses to get wrapped up and charge whatever they want for them. For example, a lot of drugs cost just a few cents to produce. But, by the time they’ve made it to the people who need them, they can cost as much as $2000 per pill. This sort of inflation is outrageous, and has caused a lot of problems for businesses trying to make as much as possible from their drugs.

Of course, pills and injections aren’t the only types of medical procedures which make up this area. Along with this, treatments like physiotherapy can also cost a small fortune, but for very different reasons. To be able to handle this sort of work, the people taking it on need to spend several years training, and often won’t be able to practice other kinds of medicine afterwards. This forces companies operating hospitals to hire huge teams which have very limited skill sets. It wouldn’t be too bad, but this can make it hard for the patients to get the help which they need, especially if they only one hospital available which doesn’t have the person they need.

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Helping The Less Fortunate

While much of society is able to afford their healthcare, there are still a lot of people out there who struggle to be able to get the support and medical treatments which they need, even in developed countries. Thankfully, to make this a little easier, there are loads of charities out there which provide low-cost or free insurance for people in this sort of position. It’s tragic to think about a young family not being able to afford treatments for their children. With people working together to make it better, though, this often doesn’t have to be a concern.

Helping other people in need spreads much further than home, though, with much of the world still very much struggling to provide proper medical care for the people calling it home. To help with the, larger countries will said aid to areas where the most help is needed. This comes in a lot of different forms, ranging from vaccinations to insect nets, and the money has to come from several places to make it work. Charities help here, but the largest contributors are usually governments. The US alone sends around $2.6 billion around the world each year to provide aid to countries without the means to help themselves.

The Smaller Costs

Of course, a large portion of the money being spent on healthcare doesn’t go into the big things. Instead, there are loads of smaller areas which also need to be covered, and this also amounts to a huge amount of spending for a lot of countries. Below, you can find some examples of these areas, along with the companies which provide the resources to make it possible. It’s amazing just how much money goes into something like this when so many people still lack the care they really need.

Distribution & Storage: Moving drugs around the world and storing them where they need to be used costs a small fortune. Thanks to black markets emerging in this field, security has to be incredibly tight to make this work, sending prices way up. Companies like Health Catalyst work hard to make this sort of work easier. Providing expert advice and solutions to other healthcare businesses, they are able to improve the overall field by a huge amount, making it cheaper for patients, and easier for those running the industry.

Adverts & PR: Like any kind of business, when a hospital is suffering with negative PR or low profits, they often have to turn to advertising to make customers aware that they are an option. This can eat up huge amounts of a company’s budget, with the price of this sort of work being very high, while also involving a lot of time and human power to get it done. This shows just how competitive this industry really is, and this is something which a lot of people are fighting.

Legal Battles: When something goes wrong during surgery, an insurance company refuses to make a payment, or any other issue arises in this field, people will often want to be able to get compensation. The court proceedings cost a lot in this sort of case, and this is before you consider the payouts which have to be made after the fact. It’s a shame that companies often have to face this sort of issue, as the costs usually come back to the patients, and this makes it even harder for people to get the help they need.

Smear Campaigns: Over the last few years, there have been a lot of splinter groups working to fight against certain medical treatments which are viewed as ineffectual or damaging to patients. Vaccinations, for example, are often cited as being able to cause conditions like autism, despite all of the evidence pointing away from this sort of risk. When new research has to be done to prove these groups wrong, it costs a lot of money which could have been spent on developing new treatments or improving what already exists.

Hopefully, this post will give you a clear insight into the world of medicine, and the costs which come along with it. Not a lot of people are aware of what it will cost to get treated when they go to a hospital, and even fewer know what goes into the industry on the whole. This money has to be spent, though, making it worth looking into if you are curious about where to taxes are going.

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