Benenden National Health Case Study

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It would be extremely easy to point our fingers at the smokers, alcoholics and obese for the increasing strain on resources and finances regarding healthcare, however, there are numerous economic and moral implications of this belief that this essay will explore. In 2015/16, NHS expenditure surged to £117,229 bn with a rising prediction of £120,611bn in 2016/17 (NHS Confederation, 2016). A major proportion of the expenditure is designated for tackling poor health problems - a consequence of drinking, smoking and poor diet costing the NHS more than £11bn a year (BBC News, 2016). Rising demand for healthcare accompanied by a lack of supply and under-funding has drained the finite resources to ‘breaking point’ as warned by the British …show more content…

The free-market environment provides the ability for people to exercise their preferences for different goods and services. It helps to motivate firms to adjust their supply dependent on the consumer preferences through allocative efficiency and firms to become as efficient as possible to survive the competitive market. Firms are encouraged to compete for the highest quality of care creating incentives into research and development for better and new treatments. Therefore, greater investment into capital goods to help boost the productive proficiencies in supplying high- quality healthcare for consumers. However, there are also noticeable flaws with a free-market system through the existence of imperfect information that consumers could choose decisions dependent on the authority of a person and not the appropriate choices. Healthcare is a personal choice and does not rely on the experience of others, therefore there is a risk of asymmetric information that consumers cannot judge the quality of their purchases and select undesirable choices. Some may argue that price signals could be implemented in a way to encourage consumers to evaluate their purchases and weigh up the benefits versus costs, but we must remember healthcare is neither a commodity or a luxury service. Over-consumption of healthcare is unwanted but under-consumption is a negative risk too that if individuals become solely focused on their needs; the positive

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