The law of supply says that, other things remaining the same, when there is a rise in the price of a good or service there will be a rise in the supply of the same and vice versa. (Gould and Ferguson: 1980).
The law of demand says that, other things remaining the same, when there is a rise in the price of a good or service there will be a fall in the demand of the same and vice versa. (Gould and Ferguson: 1980)
These laws are as applicable to health care facilities as to other sectors of the economy. The cost of producing a good or service largely determines its price which, in turn, determines its demand and supply; health care delivery has to do with the supply of health care services and goods and access is the demand side of the same.
In a market oriented economy the laws of supply and demand will largely determine the delivery of and access to health facilities; higher the price lower the access and lower the price lower the delivery, other things remaining the same.
If the health services are mainly provided by the government, such as a welfare state or a less-developed country, government bears maximum cost of the health facilities and these facilities are meant for masses. In such a situation if government allocates sufficient funds for health facilities the delivery of health facilities is adequate and access to them would also be greater provided the system functions properly.
If budgetary allocations are scanty there would be greater pressure on health facilities; both delivery of and access to the same would not be enough.
In many countries the health facilities are also provided by the private sector. The price of the same in private sector is quite high as compared to the public sector; those who can afford to purchase these facilities at high cost only they can have access to the same while those who can not bear high cost can not have access to them; the delivery of the same is restricted to those who can bear the high cost.
In a situation when government and corporate sector pay enough amount to their employees to cover health costs then their access to health care facilities would be enough.
In developing countries community-based health insurance schemes are becoming increasingly identified as a means to finance health care. It is observed that in these schemes participating members have a higher probability of access to health care services than non-members and pay substantially less when they need care. In such a situation delivery of health services will be restricted to those who participate in the scheme and non-members access to will be limited.
In many less-developed countries public sector doctors diagnose and prescribe to the patients free of cost but they have to buy medicines at market rate which are manufactured by multi-national factories and these medicines are very costly; thus access to health-care is restricted because of high medicine prices.
An indirect cost impact influences health care access and delivery in this way that when food items inflation compels consumers to allocate maximum portion of their income for food purchases they are left with meager portion to be allocated for health care; thus lower access to and delivery of health facilities.
Gould and Ferguson. (1980).microeconomic theory. Illinois: Irwin