Economic principles are crucial in all sectors including the health sector. Principles such as scarcity, opportunity cost, and willingness to pay play an essential role in the delivery of healthcare services. The initiative to manage and control cancer is one of the public health initiatives, which have felt the impact that these principles have in the health sector. Contrarily, the initiative continues with its endeavor to ensure that the public enjoys the benefits linked to cancer-free societies.
Economic principles are very applicable to public health initiatives. Scarcity, opportunity cost, and willingness to pay are some of the economic principles that determine the effectiveness of public health initiatives. Scott, Solomon, and McGowan (2001) explain that health care sectors in a number of countries use the principles to establish the extent to which individuals utilize healthcare services. Before making a purchase, people first assess their purchasing power, the scarcity of the service, and the opportunity cost associated with the service. An assessment of these economic principles dictates the willingness that the person has towards purchasing and utilizing a particular healthcare initiative. Therefore, with a good understanding of the economic principles and their role in the sector of a public health initiative, stakeholders in the sector can deliver healthcare services successfully.
The public health initiative that I am interested in is the initiative that concerns the management and eradication of cancer. Research undertaken by Knaul and Harvard University (2012) proves that the cancer initiative is very important, especially in contemporary societies that have a number of populations struggling with the disease. Over the recent past, cases of cancer among populations in various countries are on the rise. In the United States, for instance, the number of people, who suffer from cancer has risen since the late 90s (Brannon & Feist, 2010). The rise in these cases is worrying, and thus, a public health initiative that focuses on cancer management is one that I cannot underscore in my selection of a public health initiative.
Public health initiative that champions cancer management and control focuses on three main components, which are public education, research, and advocacy towards the provision of affordable medical cover. According to McCaughey and Bruning (2010), focusing on public education helps cancer initiatives ensure that individuals get the requisite information regarding cancer. Furthermore, research improves the understanding of the magnitude of cancer among societies in various regions. With a good understanding on cancer prevalence, stakeholders in the sector furnish governments with data that help in its mitigation. The initiative also advocates for provision of a well-designed medical cover geared to address healthcare issues like cancer.
Scarcity, opportunity cost, and willingness to pay are the three economic principles that have been widely applied by stakeholders undertaking public health initiatives. Public health initiatives focus on scarcity and try to ensure that the public get the maximum out of the scarce resources. Application of scarcity principle enables healthcare sectors in states and governments execute strategies that ensure maximum utility of their services (Getzen, 2013). Moreover, public health initiatives apply the principle of opportunity cost to ensure that the services provided by the health sector supersede other alternatives that individuals choose instead of the initiative. Willingness to pay is a principle, which is manageable through development of an affordable medical cover.
Economic principles are very important in various fields of humanity. Health sector is one of the fields that enjoy the benefits that accrue from enhanced understanding of economic principles. Economic principles such as scarcity, opportunity cost, and willingness to pay play an integral role in the health care sector. Several decisions made by individuals and public health initiatives concerning health care revolve around these principles of economics. One of the public health initiatives that employ the knowledge of economic principles to reach out to the society is the initiative that advocates for minimization and eradication of cancer.
Brannon, L., & Feist, J. (2010). Health Psychology: An Introduction to Behavior and Health. Sydney: Cengage Learning.
Getzen, T. (2013). Health Economics and Financing. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Knaul, F., & Harvard University. (2012). Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative. Boston: Harvard Global Equity Initiative.
McCaughey, D., & Bruning, N. (2010). Rationality Vs Reality: The Challenge of Evidence-Based Decision Making for Health Policy. Implementation Science, 5(39), 1-13.
Scott, R., Solomon, S., & McGowan, J (2001). Applying Economic Principles to Health Care. Special Issue, 7(2), 282-285.