Enhancing Accessibility to Critical Healthcare Facilities in Asia Pacific's Emerging Markets

Massimiliano Colella, CEO, Evercare Group

After facing the second waves of covid-19 and with global recession, the APAC market is under faster recovery process. To quicken the process further, every healthcare provider should aim to build a sustainable future providing world-class healthcare facilities in emerging markets. One of the region’s key missions should be to invest in local resources to develop local talent to add to the medical and clinical skillsets required to help communities with their healthcare needs.

1. What is your assessment of healthcare accessibility across the APAC region today?

The Covid–19 pandemic highlighted many inequalities in healthcare around the world. After facing multiple waves of the pandemic, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market is undergoing a steady recovery process. The pandemic has also given rise to a rapid reinvention of healthcare delivery across the APAC region. Certain healthcare providers are disrupting the traditional healthcare model by providing an impact-driven model aimed at increasing accessibility to quality healthcare for underserved populations across the low and middleincome sectors.

Today, healthcare providers are increasingly focused in their approach to provide an integrated, impact-driven healthcare model that meets the needs of the patients and provides a sustainable ecosystem.

2. What are the current gaps in access to safe and quality healthcare in the region?

Health disparities exist in the quality of health and provision of healthcare across different geographies and different socio-economic conditions. Many low and middle-income countries continue to suffer from insufficient investment in healthcare, leading to often highly strained and burdened systems that are unable to keep up with demands of patients. According to the World Bank, if current trends continue, up to five billion people will be unable to access quality healthcare by 2030 with 56 per cent of the population lacking sufficient healthcare coverage, especially in rural areas.

A key learning is to continue to invest in medical technology along with building energy-efficient infrastructures and developing a competent and compassionate workforce. Technology has been our biggest contributor to date and going forward tech-enabled healthcare solutions will reshape the dynamics of and access to quality healthcare services. Many healthcare providers are determined to create a positive change by ensuring that more and more underserved populations have access to quality healthcare.

3. What are some strategies to ensure greater accessibility in APAC’s emerging markets?

Many healthcare providers are delivering high-end health solutions and services that complement their core health offerings and meet the delivery of end-to-end patient care. However, there has been limited awareness and funding of these services. With an ageing population and the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases along with the high demand for quality care in an evolving middle class, it has become more difficult to provide the right quality care to those in need. In such a situation, it is imperative for both government and private healthcare providers to collaborate to provide and support the increased and diversified access to quality healthcare in the underserved regions. Many healthcare providers are missioned to unite to improve the standard of care for all patients and strengthen healthcare ecosystems across APAC through greater innovation and regulatory harmonisation.

4. How are sustainable healthcare systems built and maintained?

There is a basic connection between healthy patients and a sustainable eco-environment. Healthcare providers should incorporate a corporate social responsibility commitment in their business practices. To build a sustainable healthcare system, one should be aware and focus on improving greater resource efficiencies across their ecosystems.

By collaborating with external partners and NGO’s, not only can this be beneficial for the sustainability, but this can be financially rewarding too. Equally, setting up KPIs for minimisation of waste, water, energy utilisation and regular monitoring and analysis can help maintain sustainable healthcare systems. Also, healthcare providers must put in place the best ethical practices within their facilities encouraging their employees to be the champions of sustainable growth, so that at every level there is better conservation of resources, and judicious utilisation of available resources.

References

Universal Health Coverage Overview (worldbank.org)

Tackling the Pandemic of Inequality in Asia and the Pacific – The Diplomat

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Author Bio

Massimiliano Colella

Massimiliano Colella is the Chief Executive Officer of the Evercare Group, the leading impact driven healthcare network in emerging markets across Africa and South Asia. He is widely recognised as an expert in leading healthcare companies to success globally with almost three decades of experience in large multinationals such as Johnson & Johnson and Smith & Nephew. He has served as a Board Member with Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce such as Asia-Pacific Med-tech, Europe MedTech Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Czech Republic, and the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

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