How does pollution affect health care?

1 Answer
May 25, 2016

Pollution can adversely affect healthcare in numerous ways.


The two that come to mind immediately are:

Longer waiting-room times

As the number of people exposed to pollutants increases so too does the number of people who may become ill due to exposure to the pollutants (for example if one person is exposed to a pollutant that one person may or may not become sick; if 1,000 people are exposed then only 1 person may become sick, 500 may become sick, or all 1,000 may become sick [or any given number of people may become sick]). This increases the number of people that visit critical care centers and emergency rooms; as the number of patients increases so too does the amount of time a patient needs to wait to see a medical practitioner (nurse, physician assistant, or doctor).

(A side note: the signs and symptoms of pollutant exposure are very general [they resemble other conditions] and each pollutant has a different treatment.

Increased Healthcare costs

At private hospitals not only is proper diagnosis and treatment of the patient important but so too is patient satisfaction, this means reducing treatment times. In order to minimize wait times the hospital needs to hire more employees (medical and non-medical) and increase the number of diagnostic devices, this all costs the hospital a significant amount of money. To prevent the increase in expenses from cutting into the hospital's profits the hospital needs to increase costs (essentially the pass the cost on to the consumers).