What Is the Resource Dependency Theory in the Evolution of Healthcare?


Vincent White

The resource dependency theory suggests that organizations, including healthcare institutions, depend on external resources to achieve their goals. In the context of healthcare, this theory explains how hospitals and other medical facilities rely on resources such as funding, staff, and technology to provide quality care to patients.

Understanding Resource Dependency Theory

According to the resource dependency theory, healthcare organizations need external resources to operate effectively. These resources can come from various sources such as government funding, private investments, donations, and grants. Without these resources, healthcare institutions cannot function optimally.

Resource Dependence in Healthcare

Healthcare is a resource-intensive industry that relies heavily on external resources. For instance, hospitals need qualified staff to provide quality care to patients. Without enough nurses and doctors, hospitals cannot meet the growing demand for medical care.

Additionally, healthcare facilities require modern equipment and technology to diagnose and treat patients accurately. This equipment includes MRI machines, CT scanners and other advanced medical devices that are often expensive to purchase and maintain.

The Impact of Resource Dependency on Healthcare

Resource dependency affects healthcare in several ways. First, it affects the quality of care provided by healthcare institutions. When a hospital lacks adequate staff or equipment, it may not be able to offer the same quality of care compared to a well-funded facility.

Secondly, resource dependency affects the cost of healthcare. Healthcare facilities must spend money on acquiring external resources such as technology and staff salaries. This cost is often passed on to patients through higher medical bills.

Lastly, resource dependency affects innovation in healthcare. When hospitals lack funding or access to modern technology or research opportunities they may struggle with innovation which can lead them behind their competitors in terms of providing better treatment options for patients.


In conclusion,the resource dependency theory highlights how important external resources are for effective operation of healthcare institutions. It’s essential for policymakers and investors alike to recognize the impact of limited resources on healthcare organizations and work towards ensuring that these institutions have adequate resources to provide quality care. By doing so, we can improve healthcare outcomes and make it accessible and affordable for everyone.