Discussion: Public and Private Goods

Discussion: Public and Private Goods
To what extent are various public health goods public or private? Why is it important for you, given your current or future professional role, to understand this distinction on how various public health goods and services are delivered?

In Canada, public health services are free to the public. These services are available for anyone who wants or needs them. The public good of health is consumed by the citizen. In the United States, the vast majority of public health services are paid for by consumers through employee group plans or by the individual. This is a private good that falls on the shoulders of citizens. Review the examples of public and private goods. Consider how you would determine which is a public or a private good.

Pertussis vaccine
Human papillomavirus vaccine
Information about the prevention of pregnancy geared toward those younger than age 18 years
Medical care for a 35-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with cancer; she has two children and is homeless
Electronic health record
Nutritional advising for parents of young children
End-of-life or palliative care for an elderly person with dementia
Mental health care for a group of former U.S. military personnel injured in battle
Safe labeling of pharmaceuticals
The Da Vinci robot (surgery medical technology)
In-patient treatment for heroin addiction
For this Discussion, review the media, “Health and Health Economics,” and Learning Resources. Select one item from above, and determine whether it should be a public or private good. Think about the influence of this public or private good on public consumption.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4
Post a description of the good you selected. Then explain whether you would deem the good to be public or private, and why. Finally, explain what economic impact this determination may have.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Comments from Customer

Discipline: Public Health