Posted: March 23rd, 2023

Economic Evaluation in Healthcare

In the health sector, the role of economic evaluation it to provide a platform that establishes a set of analytical and practical techniques that assist policy makers in making informed decisions. Cost effectiveness is the most well-known method for maximizing social benefits and constraining health resources. Cost effective analysis builds on assessing the value rise, the effectiveness of extra inputs and its worth approach in particular projects.

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Cost-effectiveness in the health care sector can be assessed in some of the chronic diseases like cervical cancer. In fact, screening tests have proved beneficial and important to women in society. Screening should be made mandatory for women as they age, considering that mortality among aged women, especially between 45-70 years old, are becoming an obvious hazard. However, women below 21 years are less likely to succumb to cervical cancer. Data records that the odds ratio (OR) among women who have been screened for 30-31 years for them to develop cancer at 35-39 years is 0.79, thus covering up to 95% of women between these ages (National Cancer Institute, 2015). On the other hand, the OR ratio of screened women at 52-54 years to develop cancer at 55-59 years show an improvement of 0.26, thus encompassing 95% of the women of this age. Nevertheless, despite age pap tests should be encouraged to reduce the mortality rate of cervical cancer.

Consequently, the healthcare sector, in a bid to reduce mortality rates of cervical cancer, is expected to come up with cost-effective strategies that could help increase the life expectancy of women. The debate is what frequency strategy is most effective for screening women for cancer. Is it after every 3 years, or should it be done yearly? Notably, screening women is essential, but this process is quite expensive for both the healthcare providers and their patients. Records indicate that screening women every 5 years reduced the risk of invasive cancer by 64%, in every 3 years, the margin was reduced by 82%, while yearly screens could reduce up to 90%. Moreover, the relatively varied risks at intervals of 3years stand at 0.18, while in annual procedure records, relative risks of 0.1. Concisely the range of a triennial screening is equally useful as the yearly procedure, as it is evident with the marginal benefits and relative variance risks recorded. However, triennial screens have proved to be cost-effective with an individual procedure of 5% discounted net cost adding up to $264 (Eddy, 1990).

On the other hand, yearly procedures record excellent results, for instance, screening in every 3years increases the chances of contracting invasive cervical cancer 3.9 times more compared to undertaking this process annually. Annual examinations are highly effective because they decrease the occurrence of any cervical cancer to a range of up to 60%. Nevertheless, frequent screenings have several setbacks. When patients are found with early dysplasia, there is the need for a series of repeated pap smears in treating such cases, which results in a lot of anxiety and inconvenience. Moreover, patients who frequently undergo screening tend to have a false sense of security, thus ignoring any symptoms and signs of invasive cancer, which could advance and lead to their mortality (Eddy, 1990). Besides, yearly screens are very expensive, with a 5% discounted net cost of $1093. Evidently, 3year screening is more cost effective than the annual procedure. However, for an individual to fully enjoy this advantage, they must start screening as early as at the age 20 years. Records indicate that women who have undergone the previous procedure are better placed to have triennial procedures.

Indeed, intensive screening records fewer benefits while the costs are extremely high. Therefore, if women are informed about the risks, cost, and benefits of undertaking these procedures early enough, they can easily choose the frequencies of their preference. Besides, lesser screening allows patients to save on their time, procedural costs, and other indirect costs. 

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Eddy, D. M. (1990). Screening for cervical cancer. Annals of internal medicine, 113(3), 214-226.

National Cancer Institute:  (2015, October 12). PDQ® Cervical Cancer Screening. Retrieved



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