Posts Tagged ‘cost benefit ratio’

An  article , I stumbled upon recently  discusses why American health care is  in deep trouble. There is a huge variation in the health care costs across the country. The article goes on to reveal  ,   a  simple  Appendicectomy can  cost  anywhere between 7500   to 1,70000 $  in different hospitals in USA.  (In India it costs  1000 $  in  any  star hospital !)

The fundamental flaw is   treatment  being the same ,   it is delivered in such a  fashion ,  the cost incurred is  kept ridiculously high.

It is akin to comparing  a 10 dollar  lunch to a 1000 dollar feast , both  ultimately  fulfills a  purpose ,   relive the hunger effectively

while , the later can  damage the country’s economy  in a variety of ways !


Car makers automate the industry with Robots to   reduce  the  human labor and  cost of a vehicle ,  while medical industry does the opposite   . . .  privileged few get their appendix removed with a help of metal hand  !

Final message

Modern medicine must  aim to improve the quality  of  care  with a   positive impact  at a reasonable cost . In the name of cutting edge technologies ,  it  should not raise  the medical bill in a meaningless  fashion .This is meager exploitation of  human suffering.

It is  hilarious to note  certain medical  Robots* are primarily  made to assist  surgeon  for which  no assistance is required at all !  (I heard a story about a  Robot  which responds  to voice command   and pass on a   knife  for cutting and a gauze for wiping ! What a great medical discovery !)


*  Of course  Robots (Cyber knifes )   may have a role  in some rare surgeries which require high precision  cutting  especially in  Neuro  ,  Vascular ,  oncological  surgeries.

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Poverty is the number one killer in this world . Malnutrition, infectious diseases  , poor maternal child and health are the leading killers. The life expectancy is short in many underdeveloped countries.

While the scenario  is dismal for most of the poor people in this world.

Can affulence be a risk factor for poor health ?

Yes. This seemingly awkward  answer is  many times true. The disease  acquired by affluence is labeled attractively as life style diseases . They are : Obesity, Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, some forms of cancer etc .

coronary angiogram cardiology

How else can affluence affect the health of an individual ?

Apart from affluence being a risk factor ,  it  is a powerful  risk factor for getting  inappropriate  medicines,  procedures  &   surgeries  ,  hence  the resultant  adverse effects.

It is a  non-established fact , in  both  developed  and developing world , the single important  predictor of a given form of treatment  say  revascualrisation or  surgery  for CAD  is affordability to the treatment (Either  by insurance or  self payment) .Financial well being , interferes with applying  valid scientific principles on them . Applying  the  results of  the  land mark trials CAD trials ,   COURAGE  &  BARI 2D  are very difficult  for them , which argues for   simple , less costly , less glamorous medical therapy for CAD.

Example 1

A wealthy adult  male  who  lands  up for master health check up  in a big state of the art  hospital found to have a  borderline stress test , CAG reveals a single vessel distal RCA disease .He was given an  option of PCI , undergoes  it ,  and ends up in a complication and damages his entire  inferior myocardial  territory.

Had he been a poor uninsured  guy , he would have promptly be  labeled as stable CAD and would have been on  good medical therapy*  and his  myocardium could have been saved .

* PCI can never be an option  for him ,  courtesy : His wealth status !

Mind you , this is not an isolated  example, such  affordability  guided treatment modalities  are rampant in the society and has a potential to make  our rich and  affluent a major health risk target !

Final message

Being wealthy and affluent can also be a health risk factor. While the poor suffer from lack of health care the  rich many times suffer because of  too much health care ! (or  Is it care less ,  health care ?)

Coming Soon

How reccession  time  is a  boon  for human health  !

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