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Applied Economics

A Simple Model for Planning Short–Term In–Patient Medical Care — Applied

Journal Article
Dahlberg, Lars (1976). “A Simple Model for Planning Short–Term In–Patient Medical Care — Applied”. Applied Economics 8(4), 235–248.

Lars Dahlberg

A model to be used for planning short-term in-patient medical care is presented. The individual clinic is treated as a production unit which produces different kinds of treated wardcases with a given technique of production (given production-cost-structure). It is assumed to maximize the yearly number of treated wardcases under the constraints of (1) The yearly demand for different kinds of treated wardcases, which is assumed to be proportional to the number of citizens within the area which the clinic serves (the clinics population), (2) The yearly budget which is assigned by public authorities and has to cover all costs as the medical care is supplied free of charge, (3) The clinics physical capacity, measured by the number of beds.

The model has been applied to the branch of general medicine using the estimated production-cost-structure at an existing clinic within this branch. The kind of information that one can get is illustrated, for example: Given a clinic with a certain technique of production (production-cost-structure) which optimizes its production in the way that the model assumes, what is the marginal effects of changes in the size of budget, physical capacity or the size of population? In the case of an existing clinic, perhaps it serves too big a population (the marginal effect of reducing this constraint is zero)? or, when establishing a given kind of clinic what is the best combination of population size, size of budget and physical capacity? How much of the demand will be unsatisfied with different combinations, i.e. how large will the queues become?