Worldwide: Deloitte Global Health Care Outlook: Sector Challenges And Considerations For 2017

Last Updated: 6 February 2017
Article by Stephen Soyland

Most Read Contributor in Nigeria, October 2018
  • Aging population and chronic disease among drivers of increasing demand and spending
  • Cost, care delivery, and innovation among top considerations for stakeholders

NEW YORK, NY, USA, 12 January, 2017—Global health care expenditures are projected to reach US$8.7 trillion by 2020, up from US$7 trillion in 2015. This growth will be driven by an aging population and associated chronic disease, innovative clinical advancements, and rising technology and labor costs, according to Deloitte Global's report, 2017 Global Health Care Outlook: Making progress against persistent challenges released today.

"Today's health care demand and cost challenges appear likely to persist in the near-term, if not longer. Stakeholders need to address these risks to gain significant clinical and operational improvements," said Dr. Mitch Morris, Deloitte Global Life Sciences & Health Care Industry Leader. "Finding a path forward that works for all stakeholders will be difficult but necessary to provide high-quality care and services, equitable access, and optimal outcomes for patients at an affordable cost."

Established players, disruptive entrants, and governments are developing new solutions and approaches to improve care access and quality, and to control costs. Lacking definitive measurement, results to date appear mixed; however, according to the report, stakeholders that focus on five key considerations in 2017 can keep moving forward:

  • Cost: The world's major regions are expected to experience health care spending increases from 2.4 percent to 7.5 percent between 2015 and 2020. Providers finding it difficult to gain further cost and operational efficiencies should turn their attention to more transformative initiatives to bend the cost curve.
  • Care Delivery: Lack of access to basic health care services and variations in care quality are persistent problems in many of the world's regions. Today's health challenges are complex and interrelated so care delivery models that use a multi-pronged and collaborative approach are more likely to yield positive results.
  • Innovation: Robotic surgery, 3D printing, implantable devices, and other digital- and technology-enabled innovations that target prevention, monitoring, and treatment are showing potential to improve outcomes and reduce costs. Health care leaders should consider building ecosystems that embrace nontraditional players and knowledge sources outside their own four walls.
  • Operations: Public and private health systems will likely need to implement new business and clinical operating models to deliver scalable, efficient, and high-quality care, and to reduce waste, redundancies, and costs that threaten system sustainability. Just like commercial enterprises, health care organizations should invest in tools and processes to better understand their target markets and customer segments, and improve the patient experience to engage more effectively with today's active and informed health care consumers.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Health care is one of the world's most regulated industries, with laws and policies addressing clinical quality and safety, cyber security, counterfeit drugs, and corruption. Taking a standardized, consistent approach to compliance planning, execution, and monitoring makes good clinical and business sense in today's highly regulated, interconnected global health care environment.

In addition to outlining stakeholder considerations, the 2017 outlook highlights the current state of the global health care sector, and explores trends and issues impacting sector organizations.

"Without exception, health care systems around the globe should continue to source and implement strategies that can help improve outcomes and hold the line on costs," said Dr. Morris. "While there is no such thing as the 'perfect health system' there are examples of good performance in most countries which can provide valuable learnings for all health care stakeholders."

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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