The looming crisis in healthcare affordability: Stepping back from the abyss
Aon’s inaugural report, ‘Asia Healthcare Trends 2017/18: In Pursuit of Equitable, Affordable Healthcare’ identifies why public health officials, medical plan insurers, and employers across the region are increasingly concerned about key population health metrics. Healthcare affordability is threatened by a ‘perfect storm’ of an ageing population, sedentary lifestyles and rising incidence of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Despite these worrying statistics, the report provides evidence of solutions that are turning the tide on medical inflation.
Singapore is an example of a market where medical inflation has been tamed over recent years, with the headline inflation rate cut by approximately 50 percent. These gains have come on the back of stakeholders across the healthcare continuum re-engineering the processes by which consumers are best able to access and utilise healthcare, particularly at an outpatient level, and its administration.
This groundbreaking study quantifies that healthcare systems are intrinsically complex, with no two markets being alike. The variability in population health norms, culture, healthcare infrastructure, and financing are just some of the factors that demand that solutions are developed and executed at a local market level.
For anybody concerned about the future direction of healthcare in Asia, this report makes for compelling reading with its quantitative analysis of key risks and cost drivers on a market-by-market basis and prevailing cost management and employee wellness initiatives. This data is supported by a narrative that provides the reader with an appreciation of the market fundamentals that are driving the growth of pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries, and the healthcare labour force participation rates amongst other key variables.
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