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squeaky wheel effectJoe Segen2016-12-09T04:10:10+00:00
squeaky wheel effect
Definition A colloquial term referring to the public airing of a problem, complaint, or perceived injustice with sufficient stridency to garner enough sympathy and popular support to address it, regardless of the principle of fair play.
The squeaky wheel effect resulted in the US government-sponsored reimbursement of experimental autologous bone transplantation for patients with advanced breast cancer–cost $125,000 per patient, which equals the cost of 2000 screening mammograms. Because–as the phrase goes ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil’, decisions may be made for a small, but vocal minority, rather than for the broader interests of society, addressing private patient concerns rather than public health needs, and short-term expenditures rather than long-term savings.
Synonyms Squeaky door effect, squeaky hinge effect