Iron Triangle of Healthcare
Initially introduced by William Kissick in his book “Medicine’s Dilemmas: Infinite Needs Versus Finite Resources”, in 1994, “Iron Triangle of Healthcare” is a concept that analyzes the healthcare model. According to this concept, every healthcare model has three key aspects; access, cost and quality (Young & Kroth, 2017). Improving one or two of these aspects will result in lowering the third. Aaron Carroll states in his article that there are intrinsic compensation in healthcare policy and anyone who claims that he can create an affordable, improved and universal healthcare system, is delusional. For instance; most painkillers are given if the patient has a prescription for them if these painkillers become easily accessible then there is a risk of addiction. In this case, access is limited to prevent a more dangerous outcome.
It is usually the politicians who promise this deluded version of healthcare to win the approval of the public but in reality, many factors make it impossible to achieve such a healthcare system. When it comes to pregnancy prevention or in the case of conception; abortion, two outside factors play into this concept. One is the rights of a woman to her body while the other being the moral perspective of killing an unborn child. These unspoken tradeoffs are the reason that improving one aspect of healthcare results in worsening of the other aspect. This willful ignorance by the politicians causes unreasonable harm to the image of medical professionals who are trying their utmost to provide a better healthcare system (Carroll, 2012).
Making the general public aware of these trade-offs will help them understand the reason behind the inaccessibility of some drugs and the high cost of medical procedures. Providing high-quality medical care has always been a priority as reducing quality can have adverse effects. So in some cases, the accessibility will suffer and in some cases the cost. This is a hard truth that the public should be aware of and the politician should not make light of this discussion.
Carroll, A. (2012). The “Iron Triangle” of Health Care: Access, Cost, and Quality. JAMA Forum Archive, A1(1). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamahealthforum.2012.0058
Young, K. M., & Kroth, P. J. (2017). Sultz & Young’s Health Care USA. Jones & Bartlett Learning.