ILLNESS OF HUMAN BEINGS AND WORLD ECONOMY
It is true that every human being suffers from some illness or the other from birth till death. The illnesses may vary from routine mild ones to very serious ones sometimes resulting even in death. Almost everyone would try some medication or the other, either by self or through a Doctor, to mitigate their illness. Brooding over the illnesses humans suffer and the various activities that go on in a hospital a number of thoughts sprang up within me which are deliberated in the following.
The main and foremost thought is that
“HUMAN ILLNESSES SUPPORTS A CONSIDERABLE PORTION OF THE WORLD ECONOMY”
Let us elucidate this observation in greater detail.
To treat any illness you need a Doctor.
You need Medicines
You need Hospitals/ Nursing Homes
You need Nurses
To conduct tests/analysis you need Laboratories
To become a doctor one must study in a Medical College. The Medical College needs a Building. It needs Faculty to teach the various subjects. It needs various support staff. It needs a well equipped Laboratory. It needs a good Library. It needs various infrastructures like class rooms, electrical items, computers, etc. A medical college should also have an attached Hospital for the Students to gain firsthand knowledge. The requirements of a Hospital are mentioned separately.
After a basic Medical Course many Doctors go for Specialisation in various branches of medicine like Surgery, Medicine, Paediatrics, etc. Etc. Thus a person spends almost a decade to attain proficiency and start practising.
Further there are several Systems of Medicine like Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani , etc. Each system has its own method of diagnosis, treatments and medicines.
Thus to create a Doctor huge investments are needed which in turn provides jobs and economic support to thousands of persons in varied fields.
As mentioned above there are different systems of medication and each one has its own types of medicines and drugs.
To produce drugs and medicines
- You need a factory or manufacturing unit,
- You need chemicals and other ingredients that go into the production of the drugs and medicines
- You need people who have the knowledge to produce the drugs and medicines
- You need the infrastructure for the factory like plant and machinery, buildings, workers, support staff, power, water, etc.
- You need facilities like laboratories and persons to check the quality of the products.
- You need appropriate packing materials to suitably pack the medicines
- You need distributors to transport and deliver the products
- You need chemist and drug shops to sell the products
- You need qualified Pharmaceutical persons who can correctly sell the medicines prescribed by the Doctors to the patients
- You need medical representatives to brief the doctors about the nature of the products and their efficacy in the treatment of the diseases
In addition Research Laboratories are also required which develop new drugs and medicines as well as improve the existing medicines.
Thus to produce a medicine or drug you need a lot of manpower, industries, ancillary industries (like units which produce basic raw materials, packing materials, etc.) which again translates into Economic well being of thousands of persons.
In earlier days whenever someone is ill the doctor would visit the patient at his/her residence and administer the medicines. Later the number of patients as well as the nature of diseases increased. Further there were several illnesses which required continued treatment with various equipments. Therefore doctors could not visit all the patients and hence started their own clinic/ nursing homes with all needed facilities. They also had to employ nurses and other attendants to assist the doctor and take care of the patients. When the number of patients grew to a very large number and a single doctor could not handle all the patients the concept of Hospitals took shape.
Hospitals were set up in large buildings with necessary infrastructure. The following are some of the requirements that are essential in a Hospital set up.
- Administrative units which will manage the patients as well as provide all the required equipments as well as maintain them
- A number of rooms for doctors to examine the patients
- Rooms equipped with necessary medicines and instruments for treating out- patients
- Rooms for housing various testing equipments like X-Ray, Scanning, etc.
- Rooms for collecting samples like blood, urine, etc
- Laboratories for testing the samples
- Wards/rooms for in-patients
- Operation theatres with all the required installations
- Intensive care units
- Medicine / pharmacy shop
Hospitals also need various equipments like air conditioning, oxygen cylinders, monitoring machines, testing equipments, surgical and other devices, etc.
Thus a hospital needs huge manpower from the sweeper to the topmost Doctor apart from all the infrastructure mentioned above.
As mentioned earlier doctors need the assistance of Nurses to treat the patients. Nurses help the doctors at the time of diagnosis to ascertain the cause and nature of the illness the patient is suffering from. They also administer the drugs and injections prescribed by the doctor. In the case of In-patients they have to also continuously monitor the health of the patient and report the developments to the doctor. In case of surgeries also a whole team of trained nurses are required to assist the doctor. Thus in today’s health scenario the role of nurses is very crucial and significant.
To become a Nurse one has to undergo the prescribed Course in designated Colleges similar to a Medical College. Apart from class room learning they have to undergo practical training in a Hospital to gain hands on experience.
Thus to produce a nurse almost the same infrastructure is needed as in the case of producing a doctor.
In earlier times Doctors used to identify a patient’s illness by the outward symptoms as found on physical examination as well as the patient’s account of what he is undergoing like pain, cold cough, temperature, intestinal disorders etc. Thereafter the doctor would prescribe/ administer appropriate medicines.
However in present day scenario the illnesses have assumed complex proportions and many need varied investigations and analysis to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Thus Doctors advise the patients to undergo various tests basing on available symptoms and then determine the nature of the illness and prescribe the necessary treatments.
Hence we find laboratories have come up either as independent institutions are those attached with or part of a hospital or nursing home.
The tests conducted are varied and a few of them are listed below.
Blood Tests and Urine Tests
There are a number of tests which help in determining presence or absence of various substances and their levels. These help the doctors to understand the nature and severity of the infections.
ECG and EEC
These help in knowing the functioning /malfunctioning of the heart
X-Rays and Ultra sound scanning
These help in assessing various internal organs, bones, etc and their status
CAT and other scans
These help in studying complex organs like the brain and any damage to them
To conduct these tests
You need persons to collect the samples like blood urine, etc.
You need trained persons to conduct tests and analysis of the samples to arrive at conclusions.
You need a lot of chemicals and reagents
You need a lot of instruments many of them highly sophisticated
Thus we can see that lot manpower, materials and infrastructure at a huge cost is needed for conducting the tests.
From the above we can infer that a tremendous amount of funds has to be invested to create the various facilities needed to treat a person with illness. The amount would run into Trillions and the manpower into millions.
The statement made at the beginning of this article that
“HUMAN ILLNESSES SUPPORTS A CONSIDERABLE PORTION OF THE WORLD ECONOMY”
appears to be vindicated.
It also can be inferred that human illnesses support the Economic well being of millions of persons.
As a corollary we can also state that if people become more healthier and stop getting diseases the world economy will collapse which would result in the” Economic Illness” of millions of people on the Earth.
The next time if you or anyone known to you is ill, along with the pain and suffering, one can also have the satisfaction that the money spent (from a few thousands to lakhs of rupees) provides economic well being of a large number of persons.