Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taking a course on cost benefit analysis

Old Indian joke goes like this that one of our elderly and miserly great grandfather fell sick and because of concern of the children was taken to city.A famous doctor said it would take Rupees 10000 to treat him.He enquired how much it will cost if he died .On finding out that it would be cheaper for funeral and other expenses he said he rather die as it was a better option.He was absolutists among the cost benefit analysts.I assume that in those days no way has been thought to value quantify human life and its benefits to his immidiate family and society at large.

I am thinking of the cost benefit analysis as a recomendation for memogram has been switched from fourty to fity years for most women.I have not looked at the whole study ,but i can see the researchers looked at all the costs associated with memograms,time,false readings and treatments, false alarms and anxiety because of it.Cost of this for the whole population is substantial.Could be in billions .It probably adds ten thousand dollars to the health care cost of each woman.Can we afford to waste such a precious resource when money is needed for many more essential necessities.

Will somebody get hurt for not having this expensive procedure? yes for sure that will happen.It is a decision for scientist and public servants of good conscience to help us decide what are good and effective procedures and options to follow.Any way when ever we get out of the house in our car we make a cost benefit analysis that it is more beneficial to travel out than to stay put even when we know 40000 people die in car accidents every year.

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