By Gavin H. Mooney, Elizabeth M. Russell, Roy D. Weir
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Extra resources for Choices for Health Care: A Practical Introduction to The Economics of Health Provision
This is achieved when no switching of resources from one sub-programme to another will result in an increase in total benefit from the total programme. In essence, therefore, the approach looks at balance of care in an opportunity cost context that is that resources will be moved to sub-programme A from sub-programme B if by so doing the increase in benefit in A is greater than the loss of benefit in B. It is by looking at the effect of resource shifts between subprogrammes that the best pattern of care is reached.
Suspicions would arise, first, because of the omission of certain costs (such as time spent at the clinic) which would occur because of screening and might vary with different screening regimes, and second, because of the lack of homogeneity of the 'output' as stated. For example, although cost per woman screened is clearly relevant in deciding what screening policy to pursue, if policy A has a cost per woman screened of £5 and policy B £8, would the chosen option be A if it could also be shown that B yielded twice as many positive cases per 1000 screenings as A and hence that B was cheaper in terms of the cost per positive case detected?
1. In (a) it is assumed that all the mentally handicapped in hospital are more dependent than those in hostels. In (b) it is assumed that there is some overlap of dependence and hence overlap of the two curves. 2. Now for individuals of dependency levels up to D 1 it is cheaper to care for them in hostels than in hospital; above D 1 it is cheaper to care for them in hospital. But what about benefit? What the shape of the benefit curves will be with increasing dependence in both hostels and hospital is difficult to judge.