EU-ABC: Adoption of diagnostics vital to strengthen healthcare systems in ASEAN

August 30, 2022
EU-ABC: Adoption of diagnostics vital to strengthen healthcare systems in ASEAN

The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) has just recently published a report, “Transforming Diagnostic Access: A Roadmap for ASEAN,” in which it lays out key recommendations for public and private stakeholders to consider undertaking to improve and further strengthen existing healthcare systems across ASEAN through the adoption of diagnostics. A strong and diverse diagnostics infrastructure, including national screening programmes, across ASEAN is expected to improve the health outcomes and alleviate the economic burden of early treatments for patients.

The extensive report covers a study of six ASEAN member states and underscores the current state of diagnostics in each of these countries. The recommendations laid out in the report are targeted to drive the adoption of diagnostics and to advocate for the inclusion of screening as part of healthcare packages to ensure that testing and diagnostics remain affordable and accessible for all.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted diagnostics as the first line of defence against diseases: it reduces the possibility of re-emergence of eradicated diseases and helps to stop the further spread & escalation of many diseases.

As such, the EU-ABC has recommended strengthening diagnostics to facilitate early, rapid, and accurate detection of diseases that can save lives. By prioritising investment in testing, ASEAN states are hoped to quickly transition to an endemic stage post-COVID-19 and equip its member-states for future pandemics that have yet to come, strengthening the resilience of their healthcare systems in the broader goal of Universal Health Coverage.

“The role that diagnostics play in delivering safe, affordable and better targeted healthcare to the citizens of ASEAN cannot be underestimated. COVID-19 demonstrated clearly the vital role that diagnostics can play in disease prevention and control,” said Chris Humphrey, Executive Chairman of the EU-ABC.

“The time is now ripe to build on that impetus and give diagnostics the role and credit they deserve in our healthcare systems. Better and more diagnostics means catching diseases and illnesses earlier, improving the chances of recovery and less intrusive treatments, improving control, and ultimately lowering costs for health systems and patients alike.”

The EU-ABC encourages all relevant stakeholders to further develop the infrastructure and good practices inherited by theCOVID-19 pandemic in order to steer ASEAN closer to fulfilling its Post-2015 Health Development Agenda (APHDA) 2021 – 2025 vision of creating “a healthy, caring, and sustainable ASEAN community.”

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