I've been seeing a lot of tweets of people noting how kitted out police are vs care workers & I actually did a quick break down of the cost of gear to kit out an officer vs how much it costs to kit out a care worker in PPE. [...]
Front line workers who have to try and fight the #COVID19 pandemic WE ARE STILL IN. How many police were in riot gear in downtown Seattle? Multiply each one by at least 27 & think about how we are fighting a pandemic & our front line workers are wearing fucking trash bags.
They're cutting out plastic sheets to make face shields so they don't add another body in hospital that's already full to the brim waiting for tests that maybe sorta don't work while there seems to be NO shortage in teargas and rubber bullets.
The system chose to buy artillery to defend a blatant murder of an innocent man instead of buying supplies to help try and end an already disastrously handled quagmire of a pandemic.
Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Given that a single bag of saline costs over $400 one would think that money would have been utilized better
Actually a bag of saline is about $5 to $13.
But other than that, you are correct.
The manufacturing cost is even less than that. If you've ever been to a hospital in the US then you'd know that the $400 number is on the lower end (which was my cost this year):
- The secret of saline's cost: Why a $1 bag can cost $700
- How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater
Also it's one of those things where the product itself is so cheap that it isn't cost effective to be "efficient".
Years ago they used to shove about 1.5 litres of saline into me every week or two with chemo and I eventually asked them why they'd hang a second litre bag even though 500ml bags exist and I usually didn't need more. The nurses explained the 500ml bag is only slightly cheaper than the litre bag, so if they hang 500ml and it runs dry even 10% of the time, that's more expensive (they now need another bag) than just wasting half the litre bag 90% of the time.
I'm guessing you've been looking at your US health insurance billing, rather than any sort of proper medical supply pricing. Yes, a (well-specced) bag of (purified) water with (purified) salt used by the million on a daily basis does cost more than the $0.50 you could make one for, but no, no hospital is paying more than the slightest fraction of $400 for a unit of saline.
Well, that is indeed the case with literally everything you consume, the manufacturing cost is far far less than what you are gonna pay.
And yeah, I have been to a hospital in the US, I work in one.
I'm amazed at how cheap the full ppe for a health worker is.
Even with the 50% tax, special dollar exchange rate and other taxes in between that is still cheaper than what it costs to buy locally here. (assuming that the customs and mail will work again at some point)