mercredi 29 septembre 2010

Le temps en tant que prix, appliqué au système de santé Canadien

The same laws of economics apply to any other service, such as, for example, healthcare services that are very specific and, in Canada, provided by a centrally planned, legalized monopoly that does not charge a direct per-unit price. Instead of the money price, this organization must rely on a nonmonetary mechanism of managing the demand for its services, such as administrative procedures and, unavoidably, waiting times.

Most people have some mild health-related problem most of the time, but it would not be worth it to them to wait for six hours to receive treatment. They might, however, be willing to wait 20 or 30 minutes or even an hour. The wait time is the only price they pay for the service, but if the price is too high, these people will choose not to use the service offered by the healthcare provider.

However, there are always a small number of people that would be willing to wait six or more hours because the value they put on their particular health problem is quite high. Generally, as the wait time decreases, the number of people willing to wait increases.


Another issue that is often overlooked is the destructive nature of a system devoid of money prices. While paying for a service with money represents an exchange of claims over resource ownership, paying for the same service with time represents outright resource destruction. The time spent in waiting is lost forever and cannot be used in any productive activity, whereas the money paid for service could be used for purchasing goods and services that had already been produced. The time not spent in waiting could be used for the production of new resources.

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