You may or may not be familiar with the principles of supply and demand. These are common economic concepts which play an important role in public health. Supply refers to the law that when more goods and services are offered, prices also increase. Conversely, as prices decrease so does production of those goods and services. Demand is the law stating that more goods and services are purchased when the price decreases and less when the price increases.

For example: Physicians draw on their professional expertise to determine what a particular patient needs related to their health. Medical insurance companies generally operate under the terms of demand. Supply comes into play when the medical insurance companies use the concept to make decisions for allocating medical goods and services among groups of patients. Elasticity is another important principle of the law of demand to consider when you are examining demand for a particular good or service. Price elasticity of demand measures how much the quantity demanded of a particular good or service will change as price changes.

Supply curves in public health, as in other markets, are graphs that show the total quantity of a good or service that sellers are willing to sell at each price. Yet, supply in public health is subject to many influences that are not as evident in other kinds of markets.

As a public health professional, it is important to consider the intricacies of these concepts and how they affect public health.

For this Discussion, review the media, “Supply Health Care Services,” and Learning Resources. Select an example of the principles of supply and demand for public health goods and services. Consider the effects of supply and demand on public health that might influence price elasticity. Next, think about how price elasticity might influence the quantity of goods and services demanded in public health.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post a brief example of supply and demand for public health goods and services. Select two factors that might influence price elasticity of demand for public health goods or services in your example. Explain how and why price elasticity might influence the quantity of goods and services demanded in that example.

4 references
chapter 2: Getzen, T. E. (2013). Health economics and financing (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

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