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05 2012
Written by врач невролог А.А.Пономаренко
Article Index
Cost of treatment.
Cost of treatment. Continuation 1
Cost of treatment. Continuation 2
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Money question is the most important one. When buying some new things or service this question always arise. It is a very complicated question as when we decide to spend certain amount of money, we go through 2 stages before making a decision.

Whether the thing is affordable considering your finances? If we are talking about a necessary thing like a car, but produced by Rolls-Royce, then it is obvious that for most people such car is out of reach. However, if the offered thing is needed and affordable, people start looking for the ideal quality-and-price combination and when it is found, they purchase the thing.

The situation with buying medical services is more complicated. First requirements in our list to the medical service are safety and quality. Nobody being of sound and disposing mind will ask for medical help, even free of charge, if he knows that the result will be worse than it was previously. Thus we are trying to find first class services.

Naturally, in a medical field the price is not defined by a cost price of the service, but defined by its deficit in the field which connected with the doctor's qualification. Services of a highly qualified surgeon who performs operations of great demand will cost a lot. In this case the cost of a service consist also of training expenses for the surgeon. Or if the technology used in a particular medical center is unique, the cost of service will be high and affordable for a limited number of people because of its exclusivity. Even when the procedure is not sophisticated and no expensive materials or equipment are used but the technology is kept in secret, then the cost will still be high. At first glance such situations may seem unethical, especially in healthcare, but it happens not very often and can be understood. When great money and years of work were spent on a research, the researcher have all rights to receive the benefits even when the invented product turn out to be inexpensive in manufacturing.

The same can be applied to medical specialists who spend years on education and trainings to learn how to solve problems which others can not. It is all true, but for those who are looking for an inexpensive and good quality service the high cost of medical services is unfair as the help exists but not for them.

I always wonder how doctors can be so heartless to ask big sums of money for a child operation which is vital for him. However, if you look in details, you will understand that it is not that simple. For example, to perform not ordinary operation, as a rule many things are required like modern operating room, equipment, expensive medicines and well trained staff. The professional surgeon can conduct operation with charitable purpose but other expenses are inevitable. This includes the rent of the room, equipment purchasing and maintenance, medicines. It is clear that if we intrude in any stage of preparation, the harm will be done and desired result won't be achieved.

Therefore, places where high-quality operations are performed everything is taken into account even the surgeon respectable salary, which allows him to solve all personal problems and focus entirely on work. Reduction in spending below the certain level may lead to disappearance of the service.

Thereby, the existence of high costs in healthcare does not mean that doctors are greedy and heartless, it simply implies that an expensive medical technology can't exist otherwise.




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