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Economics - A public good is one which is non rival in consumption and non excludable

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Mohamed Subhi Economics A public good is one which is non rival in consumption and non excludable. This means that one persons consumption does not reduce the amount available for someone else and once the good or service is provided the producer is unable to prevent anyone from consuming it e.g. street lighting, a park etc. Public goods are provided free at the point of use but have typically already been paid for through taxation. The opposite of a public food is a private good because a consumer can be excluded from using it and a price has to be paid at the point of use e.g. entry to a rock concert, private healthcare. Merit goods are good which are socially desirable e.g. education, health etc. Demerit goods are goods that are socially undesirable and are negative for society e.g. alcohol, drugs, cigarettes etc. A merit good is a socially desirable good; in this case healthcare is a positive externality to society i.e. it benefits society; as social benefits exceed private benefits. Higher government spending on these merit goods should lead to an improvement in total economic welfare. Therefore the government offers healthcare as a public good. ...read more.


Therefore this is a benefit to the person whom requires medical attention the person does not need to pay at the point to gain healthcare. However this is not the case in America where their health service works on the private sector basis. Also as there is a great demand for public healthcare within the UK, therefore the government needs to accommodate this demand and therefore more doctors, nurses, practical nurses and all the staff required for a hospital are needed this generates and creates more jobs and decreases unemployment rates in the UK, this again is an advantage. Also public healthcare clearly benefits the poor; not taking the "free riders" aspect into perspective it benefits the poor whom may be ill and require medical attention. This is not a great economical advantage, however it shows democracy, equality within the UK between all peoples of all natures and positions, which generates a external benefit to society, decreasing discrimination and prejudice within society. Furthermore a public health service offered to everyone closes the discriminative gap between the rich and the poor, as all people are offered equal medical services. Taking into account these advantages the disadvantages of a public healthcare service would be that as healthcare is non-rivalry in consumption non-payers can take a free ...read more.


The waiting lists are a lot shorter. Furthermore private hospitals are more up to date and consist of all the latest medical equipment and technology. However only a minority of people can afford private healthcare and it is seen as too expensive at times. Therefore for those whom cannot afford private healthcare have the chance to gain public healthcare were it is free at the point of use. Therefore public and private healthcare have advantages and disadvantages. Public healthcare is free at the point of use and is offered to everyone. However free riders can exploit this advantage creating longer waiting lists. Private healthcare is expensive however offers high quality medical treatment in terms of doctors, nurses, medical equipment etc. These advantages however come at a high price, as people have to pay at the point of use on top of their general taxes; therefore only a minority of people can afford private healthcare. Healthcare within the UK is very good compared with other countries within Europe and across the globe. It is good to have both private and public healthcare within a country. Public healthcare offers an effective health service to everyone and is paid by general taxation, however if one dislikes the current public healthcare service; then one has the chance and freedom to go private. ...read more.

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