The financial crisis was a blessing for our health systems. It forced European policymakers and politicians to take more decisive action on key issues. It became clear that healthcare is not only about money (I strongly believe that there is still a potential of up to 30% in gains/savings) but about sincere structural problems in our foundations, and our unwillingness to free healthcare from political influence.
Payers are not able to execute their power to drive change. Steady underfunding of health services has no political consequences.
Under urgent pressure to meet the needs of growing populations, it seems that healthcare leaders in emerging markets are much more open to technological change, implementing innovations in processes and procedures at a game-changing rate. This puts Europe into the corner of those focusing on their well-acquired rights instead of adapting novel market processes.
Our cover story explores lessons for healthcare from Africa, Asia and South America. Alliar’s innovative business model enables patients in remote locations across Brazil to access standardised, high-quality exams. Two thousand kilometres from São Paolo, patients can get an MRI scan while the machine is operated remotely by expert technicians, demonstrating the impact technology can make. Fernando Terni and Carlos Araujo show the opportunities that modern technology brings.
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Insurance literacy is the key impetus to catalysing demand among poor communities. David Dror takes a look at innovations in voluntary micro health insurance to finance universal health coverage.
The Intercare group in South Africa has created integrated practice units, which are multidisciplinary, co-located and focused teams of healthcare professionals. Primary care and wellness centres, dedicated units for sub-acute care and rehabilitation, as well as ambulatory day surgery centres, are key components of the Intercare Group’s patient-centred healthcare model, reports Hendrik Hanekom.
Editorial Board member Chris McCahan then focuses on another angle for emerging market healthcare: the use of managed equipment services (MES) as an innovative way of tackling the problem of wasted medical equipment stock. The successful example he introduces us to is in sub-Saharan Africa. Seventy percent of hospital equipment in sub-Saharan Africa stands idle and MES could change all that.
Joelle Mumley and Amit Thakker discuss Africa’s prime role in healthcare tech, with the continent leading the way in cutting-edge drone use. The African healthcare context is uniquely placed to adopt and benefit from drone technology, they say, and the sector can learn from this on an international scale.
Divyesh Mundra then takes readers on a journey through India’s National Health Protection Mission. Effective implementation of Ayushman Bharat will largely depend on ensuring that the package of services prioritised under the National Health Protection Scheme is based on community needs, evidence-based, well governed and inclusive.
You will read as well about amazing winning practices, management matters and more.
Enjoy this issue! Gain some useful insights and inspiration towards playing a part in moving international healthcare in a positive direction. Feel the same? Share your thoughts and join the discussion by emailing me at [email protected]