Addressing the Challenges of Rising Healthcare Costs

– Healthcare costs have risen quickly all around the world.

– The amount of these costs and the speed of the increase differ between countries and healthcare systems.

– The growth prognoses for the next few years vary: healthcare costs will either rise quickly or spike.

Economic Impact

– Increases in healthcare costs are often largely compensated for and financed by economic growth.

– What happens if the economy does not grow became, for instance, visible in many affluent countries during the economic crisis from 2008 onwards.

– Healthcare costs simply continued to rise in that period, whilst the economy simultaneously contracted or stagnated in many countries.

– Consequently, the level of affordability declined and the pressure of rising healthcare costs increased.

Impact of Life Expectancy

– The increased life expectancy and the number of people that continue to live with a chronic disorder are evidence of the success and improvements in healthcare.

– Where being able to live longer is regarded as a positive goal, the ageing population also comes with negative associations.

– This also places more pressure on care and cure, and particularly on care.

– As a result, the ageing population demands extra economic growth to compensate for rising healthcare costs.

Role of Technology

– Technological developments make more existing or potential disorders visible and more (often expensive) medical procedures possible.

– Technological breakthroughs and especially disruptive innovations generally increase productivity and result in cost-savings.

– In practice, however, the effect of new technology in healthcare often reinforces, extends and optimizes existing applications and treatments and drives costs up particularly in affluent countries.

Challenges in Affluent Countries

– A common global challenge is to ensure that as many people as possible gain and retain access to good, affordable healthcare.

– All countries are challenged to realize the triple aim to improve the patient experience of care and the health of populations while reducing the per capita cost of healthcare.

– Now many affluent countries find themselves in the difficult, challenging fourth phase.

– They have to face this paradox of maintaining and renewing the healthcare system in a changing environment.

Opportunities for Innovation

– Scarcity is a rich driver for innovation.

– When the problems are overwhelming and huge, the solution is often on its way.

– This is not a matter of coincidence but a matter of cause and effect.

Challenges in Developing Countries

– If it is so difficult to maintain access and quality in affluent countries, is it then not impossible to make good healthcare available to many more people in developing countries?

– Major efforts must be made not only to keep pace but also to catch up.

– Here, too, the population is ageing.

Navigating Healthcare Systems

– In short, the rising costs of healthcare are creating fundamental challenges in countries with all different types of healthcare systems.

– Good, universal healthcare is difficult to maintain.

– Private healthcare with a public safety net risks creating a widening gulf between the two.

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