Thursday, March 16, 2023

Why healthcare is so expensive

It’s no secret that the healthcare sector can be an intensive, fast-paced environment. But why is it so expensive? As with many other industries, different factors come into play, such as regulations that need to be followed, certain specifications that equipment should adhere to as well as a required skillset to carry out the job. Here are more details to get a clearer understanding.

The cost of building hospitals

Reports state that in 2021, healthcare spending in the UK reached a peak of nearly 277 billion British pounds. In the year 2000, this figure was 79 million British pounds. This comes as cuts have been implemented over the years, leaving little wriggle room in many cases. 

Hospitals require many high-quality facilities which, due to the sheer size of them, amounts to high costs as highlighted. Examples of the facilities needed include car parks and waiting areas, as well as more technical spaces and features such as wards, operating rooms. Other costs come from acquiring the technical equipment needed. Consideration needs to be given to the nitty gritty of the infrastructure too. Quality fire resistant insulation, electrical wiring and extractor fans from suppliers like RS should be considered. The location in which the hospital is set to be built can also influence how expensive the project becomes.

Cost of training and paying quality health workers

The NHS and other healthcare institutions require skilled workers. Doctors, surgeons and physicians are examples of high earners in the healthcare sector and that goes without mentioning corporate team and those who work behind the scenes, not on the frontline. Understandably, the training costs that run alongside these high-paying positions are also high. To put things into perspective, it can cost tens of thousands of pounds to train a single nurse. 

Not only does this cost money, but it also takes time to train up quality healthcare workers, particularly in higher positions. There is also an expectation to offer a competitive a salary to attract and retain skilled workers in the field.

Laws and regulations

Understandably, there are strict health and safety regulations in the world of healthcare. And while these are necessary to maintain hygiene, this can lead to high costs. As an example, sanitisation is vital, often leading to disposable equipment being used and thrown away daily. Throughout the pandemic, this was heightened even further. There’s also a requirement to train staff extensively to ensure regulations are followed, which again tots up the costs issued within healthcare. 

Additionally, if laws and regulations are not abided by this can land companies with significant fines. On top of this, if a company is sued for medical negligence for example, this again can become extremely costly with legal fees and any pay-outs that need to be honoured. Private healthcare companies also face large insurance costs.

This is a guest blog entry.

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