GRE Argument Essay 42

At the small, nonprofit hospital in the town of Saluda, the average length of a patient’s stay is two days; at the large, for-profit hospital in the nearby city of Megaville, the average patient stay is six days. Also, the cure rate among patients in the Saluda hospital is about twice that of the Megaville hospital. The Saluda hospital has more employees per patient than the hospital in Megaville, and there are few complaints about service at the local hospital. Such data indicate that treatment in smaller, nonprofit hospitals is more economical and of better quality than treatment in larger, for-profit hospitals.

In this argument, the author has compared two hospitals and concluded that treatment in smaller and nonprofit hospitals is more economical and of better quality than treatment in larger, for-profit hospitals. However, the author has failed to provide strong evidence in favor of his statement. This argument has many flaws hence it seems very unconvincing.

Firstly, the author has talked about the shorter stay of patients in the small, nonprofit hospital than in the larger hospital. However, he has not mentioned the number of patients and the type of illness for which they were admitted in the two hospitals. The author has not taken the aspect into consideration that every illness takes its own course to be treated. Moreover, a shorter stay does not mean that the patient is fully cured. Hence, comparison of Saluda and Megaville hospitals on this basis is not convincing.

Secondly, the author has mentioned that the cure rate among patients in the Saluda hospital is twice that in Megaville hospital. Here again, the type of disease plays an important role. Usually, small hospitals do not have many specialist departments and so the patients suffering from minor ailments are admitted there. Therefore, their stay might be for a smaller period. Patients can take admission in smaller hospitals due to some emergency, and when the emergency is taken care of, they can go to bigger hospitals for treatment. The patients suffering from serious disease usually go to bigger hospitals where the specialists are available for almost all the diseases and hence they are sure of good treatment. Hence, they stay at the bigger hospitals for longer periods.

Thirdly, according to the author, the number of employees per patient is more at the Saluda hospital as compared to the Megaville hospital. However, as we do not know about the number of patients at both the hospitals we cannot compare them at this point. It might be that the Saluda hospital has less number of patients, hence more number of employees per patient are available. One more point that the author has mentioned is that there are few complaints at the smaller hospitals. The author has not thought that the reason behind this could be that their stay at the hospital was for a short duration of two days and they suffered from minor illness. Since the treatment is also low cost in a non-profit hospital, patients do not complain much.

The author has concluded this argument just on the basis of two hospitals. This data is not sufficient to judge all the hospitals. There should have been more evidence to conclude that smaller hospitals are economical than the bigger hospitals.

Finally, the author has stated that the quality of treatment at the smaller hospitals is better that that of larger hospitals. This statement cannot be justified until we know the type of diseases treated at the two hospitals. The data provided is too less.

In conclusion, the argument provided by the author is very weak. He should have the cases of some more hospitals, the number of patients treated there, the illness of patients, the cost of their treatment etc. It would have strengthened the argument.