Healthcare and opportunity cost

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Individual wellbeing is a vital topic that necessitates care and investment. People lack a greater understanding of the importance of routine check-ups due to a lack of money and time. Individual production and lifespan must be closely monitored in order to avoid massive financial losses. The opportunity expense of health aids in considering the various aspects of life and the various ways to change one's lifestyle (Spiller, 2011).

Economists regard opportunity cost as a central factor that drives identifying and assessing cost efficiency in achieving goals. In the healthcare sector, the opportunity cost is evident in assessing the benefits obtained for obtaining medical attention versus the money that a person could spend on an alternative action (Palmer & Raftery, 1999). The financial differences are clearly illustrated when comparing the limited resources and the time they take to acquire services to the duration they incur to raise funds. The decision on an option has its cost impacts thus the people aim at using the best alternative and save time.

The opportunity cost of health care incorporates the hidden costs such as the time for waiting, traveling and meeting a doctor, and the monetary charges incurred versus the revenue that one can make within that period. Therefore, the care benefits are compared to income ratio to make a decision. The cost of acquiring healthcare services may not be same, and the duration may vary depending on the region, distance, and origin or financial class. The value of 1.1 billion hour spent seeking medical services is equivalent to 52 billion dollars thus hourly rate is 47.27 dollars per hour (Miller, 2017). However, the estimated duration of the medical visit is average 121 minutes. Therefore, the cost per visit is approximately 47 dollars while the income of a person is 32 dollars thus it's expensive to acquire healthcare services hourly compared to income ratio. The difference is 15 dollars per hour making it costly to obtain medical services.


Miller, J. (2017). Paying for health care with time. Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 3 February 2017, from

Palmer, S. & Raftery, J. (1999). Economics notes: Opportunity cost. BMJ, 318(7197), 1551-1552.

Spiller, S. (2011). Opportunity Cost Consideration. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(4), 595-610.

November 09, 2022

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