?The basic economic problem is scarcity. Scarcity is the situation whereby resources are limited thus cannot satisfy unlimited human wants and needs. This problem leads to choice making which is the act of selecting one thing instead of another.
In this commentary, I look forward to linking lack of resources to other concepts, giving reference to demand and supply which in turn will lead to a brief discussion on market failure.
Demand is the amount of goods and services that consumers are willing and able to buy at given prices over a period of time. Supply is the amount of goods and services that producers are willing and able to produce at a given price over a period of time. “Bwelle spent years escorting his father to overcrowded clinics and hospitals, getting whatever treatment they could get.” Economics wise, the instance of overcrowding was due to a relatively high demand for health care at a point in time where there was insufficient resources to fund expansion. Consequently, producers were unable to increase supply to meet demand, which in turn led to a shortage on the market. Therefore, they had to balance infinite human wants and needs against finite resources.
EFFECT OF AN INCREASE IN DEMAND WHEN SUPPLY IS CONSTANT
From the above diagram, it can be seen that overcrowding, as a result of increase in demand for health care caused the initial demand D0 to shift to D1. Since supply (S0) remained constant when demand increased, a shortage (Q0-Q2) was created. This is because at P0 quantity supplied was Q0 whiles quantity demanded was Q2. In order to get rid of the shortage, there was increase in prices PO-P1 creating a new equilibrium where the quantity supplied=quantity demanded= Q1
The state of poverty was very high in Yaounde which made health care unaffordable when prices increased and led to the death of some patients including Bwelle’s father. To worsen the situation, despite health being a merit good, Cameroon had…