APHM 2017: Shaping and defending the future of healthcare in Asia

July 31, 2017

Healthcare providers need to take hold of the forces that shape health care in the future, by addressing the issue, or there will be disruptions to the evolving industry.

The major forces that will shape the future are healthcare reforms, consumer, technology and risk re-location, according to Sachin Chaudhary, a partner in McKinsey & Company in Singapore, who was speaking at the APHM 2017 conference, held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre recently. His paper was titled: “The Brave New World of Healthcare. What is coming over the next 25 years.”

There are healthcare reforms happening in several countries, where steps have been taken to solve the complexity. The nature of risk is evolving from random, infrequent catastrophic health events, to behaviour and lifestyle-induced risk. Traditional insurance is suited for covering random risks, not planned or avoidable risks, according to Chaudhary.

Consumers are now getting at the centre of the system, he added. As for technology disruptions, many industries, including healthcare, are subjected to the upheavals, said Chaudhary, adding that the industry has to focus on how disruptive it is.

Health care systems are likely to evolve over the next 10 to 15 years, in multiple overlapping waves, he said. “The system will go through three horizons, which is evolution, in the zero to three years, transformation in three to 10 years and revolution in over 10 years.”

Evolution would mean an interconnected and integrated hospital environment that focuses on high performance and population health. The transformation horizon focuses on prevention and curation, the coordination and integration of care across different settings.

“The consumer-centric health ecosystems build on core performance through scale and partnerships across care continuum. Revolution is where the trusted health orchestrators help consumer coordinators and convene health, risk and lifestyle choices in fundamentally new market spaces.”

In terms of productivity, health care needs to improve. The system, he says, needs to adopt certain business models, and a smart revelation at the same time.

However, when adopting a new business model “how can we change things that are already set in place?” Chaudhary asked the audience.

When countries become richer, they spend more on healthcare. However, the emerging countries in Asia are spending significantly less on healthcare. “This would need to change to make sure we are providing quality of care to the entire population,” he adds.

However, most Asian countries have the opportunity for improvements in healthcare outcomes.

Chaudhary states that the three basic imperatives for Asia are: basic catch-up shifts, increasing penetration of health insurance and accelerated innovation and specialization.

With catch-up shifts, there would be investments in hospital infrastructure, personnel and financing; while the penetration of health insurance would ensure more access to health insurance for the population; and accelerated innovation and specialization means that the process and product innovation is driven by access, cost and efficiency.

He also brought up the question on how the healthcare industry can change the way it engages in partnerships.

“As providers, we should be asking ourselves what innovations are the most relevant given our market realities, to understand how innovation is taking place today, as well as the stance we will take, as a provider for the health system,” he concluded.

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