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In the health care market, blood donors keep patients alive. Even when blood donors are paid to give their blood, this vital item is scarce. In the paper below we will discuss the stakeholders, the influences in scarcity, choices stakeholders must make, economic forces, pricing, and supply & demand in the health care market.
Stakeholders in this Market
The various stakeholders in this market are surgeons, general practitioners, anesthetists, blood donors, patients, the health care facility, and the organization that organizes blood donation drives.
Scarcity Influences this Market
Scarcity influences this market when paid blood donors give blood. There are several issues relating to paid blood donors. These donors might infect the patient/user of blood. Such donors lie about their HIV status or when they have donated blood earlier. From the point of view of scarcity, every one 10 people admitted in hospital needs blood, every two seconds someone in the US needs blood and 38.000 blood donations are required every day (2010, BloodBook.com). But these are not spread evenly and there are periods when there is acute scarcity of blood. This leads to a higher need and paid donors are accessed.
Choice Stakeholders Must Make
The stakeholders namely the anesthetists, surgeons, the health care facilities, and the patients must decide if they would like to buy blood. At risk is the life of the patient. If blood is not provided in a timely manner, the patient may lose her life, on the other hand if the purchased blood is infected the patient might contract a disease and die. The stakeholders have to decide if they want to go in for paid donors of blood. The stakeholders may not trust information about blood; still they are forced to go in for such donation, however, every blood donation is tested to make sure the blood can be used.
One economic force that affects the market for blood is the price of narcotics in the market. If large numbers of blood sellers are drug addicts, the price of drugs in the market affects the amount of blood being sold to health care agencies. Further, the overall state of the economy affects the supply of blood. During periods of high unemployment, there is an increase in the supply of blood available in the market (2010, BloodBook.com). When there is buoyant economic condition, the supply of blood decreases, fewer people want to donate blood (2010, BloodBook.com). As factors like unemployment affect the availability of paid donors their supply is affected by the general condition of economy. Even paid donors are scarce during booms and they charge exorbitant prices when the demand for blood is high.
The demand for blood is inelastic. When a patient needs a blood transfusion, it cannot be avoided. First the market for voluntary donors is tapped and when blood is not available from voluntary donors, price is paid for the sellers of blood. An attractive price attracts involuntary donors of blood. Since the demand for blood is inelastic, during times of high demand the price for scarce blood is very high. This price may affect the decision to go in for transfusion or otherwise. On the other hand, a high price for reliable sources of blood may compel the stakeholders to go in for unreliable sources of blood.
Supply and Demand
Some of the causes of change in supply and demand are a natural disaster or a large accident when there are many patients that need blood transfusion immediately. Also the volume of operations undertaken by surgeons affects the demand for blood.Â Â The supply of blood depends on the level of unemployment, the number of voluntary blood donors, and the number of paid donors in the market. If the levels of unemployment are high then there are more blood donors.
When the demand for blood is high either because of natural reasons or the number of operations carried out by the surgeons, the amount of blood purchased increases (2010, BloodBook.com). On the other hand because of economic down turn or an increase in blood donation drives the supply of blood increases. This reduces the demand for bought blood and adversely affects the prices. When the demand is relatively low, the quantity of blood purchased goes down. Similarly, when there is an increase in the number of blood donation, the amount of blood purchases goes down. A higher number of patients that require transfusion lead to an increase in demand on the other hand a higher number of donors, voluntary or non-voluntary leads to an increase of supply. The demand and supply determine the equilibrium price and quantity.
In conclusion, the health care market need more blood donors. Blood is a necessity around the world. There is always going to be a supply and demand for blood. It is needed for patients to survive.