Emergency Centers’ Disparities in Supply, Demand, and Price
Emergency centers are faced with disparities in supply, demand as well as the price for the patients who use these centers for treatment. The genesis of the differences can be attributed to various issues.
There is a limited supply of emergency centers despite the high need for their services. The small supply of the emergency centers is a result of a lack of enough staff to provide emergency treatment. The existing emergency centers are few in number and as such do not meet their demand. Supply issues are also evident in the long waiting hours at the emergency centers. Another disparity related to supply and demand is based on the fact that the existing centers do not offer services during after-hours. As such, the demand, which includes repeated visits, is not met by the current number of emergency centers. The demand for emergency care treatments is evident in the fact that patients are willing to seek care in alternative centers. Demand for emergency centers is also raised by the fact that these centers are expected to meet the overflow of patients from other centers. Pricing issues in emergency care are directly related to the demand. Patients have to pay a higher price for the services given the increased demand.
An adequate plan is necessary in order to ensure that the issues related to demand and supply are addressed adequately. To ease the demand for emergency care services, primary care services need to be made more comprehensive. Emergency care centers should be structured to allow for the provision of services during after-hours. To balance the supply and demand, there is a need to extend the working hours of the emergency department staff. The extension of hours can be achieved through the provision of more staff hence guaranteeing cumulative hours of work. Allowing for the privatization of emergency care treatment will enable more physicians to open centers that will meet the existing demand.