OVERVIEW OF ASIAN HEALTHCARE MARKETSouth East Asia is on its way to economic recovery. With economic prospects in the region improving, the markets in Southeast Asia will expect to see high growth rates and opportunities.
Coupled with the increasing demands for sophisticated healthcare services, many countries are investing more in the well-being of their people.Most Southeast Asian countries are progressing in various stages of reforms as they progress towards improving the quality of healthcare in their respective countries as outlined below.
has built a sound healthcare infrastructure since its independence in 1965 and
is bent on maintaining its position as a regional centre for health-care
facilities, especially among customers in Southeast Asia. With patients arriving
from as far away as India, healthcare generates nearly $ 3 bn (US$1.8bn) in
annual turnover. The government has committed large sums towards the development
of the industry, with latest data showing it invested $4bn in 1997, 2.8 per cent
attempt at improving expertise in the healthcare industry, is the linking up
with reputable healthcare management companies, foreign hospitals and medical
centres. Over the past years, various major hospitals have teamed up with
well-known institutions such as Pennsylvania University Medical Centre,
Standford University Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital.
the year 2000, its Ministry of Health has plans to build one community hospital,
one hospital for the chronically sick, 10 nursing homes, and a further 10
rehabilitation centres. The country is also developing its IT initiatives with
healthcare-telemedicine, being high on its priority.
Ministry of Health (MOH), which runs 105 hospitals and funds thousands of small
clinics, spends about 5% of the total national budget on healthcare.
Malaysia’s healthcare spending is expected to more than double by 2020
to 7% of GDP.
present the MOH has plans of setting up a RM15.6
million public health laboratory which has functions similar to that of
the Centres for Disease Control in the US. Equipped with an electronic
information system and medical testing facilities, it is set to complement
medical laboratory facilities in hospitals and public health centres. Other
items hot on the healthcare agenda include the promoting of primary care,
developing telemedicine in the Multimedia Super Corridor and the passing
legislation to regulate the quality and accountability of private healthcare
an increase of 7.3% in total health spending in 1995 to US$6.6 million, Thailand
is making strides in its efforts to attain world-class standards in healthcare.
Thai Interior Ministry has plans to increase the number of hospitals in
the country. It has allocated funds for the construction of 325 health centres.
Median prices recommended for the construction projects range from Baht 200,000
to baht 1 million for each construction project.
upgrading of healthcare centres is likewise taking place around the country.
Sukumvit Hospital, for instance he has spent around baht 8 million to baht 10
million just to improve its technical infrastructure.
the health status of the people has improved significantly since 1970, figures
for life expectancy, infant mortality, per-head healthcare spending and the
doctor-to-patient ratio, are no less than for countries such as China, Vietnam
and Sri Lanka; the Indonesian government has, nonetheless been striving to
improve the healthcare standards and facilities available in a country of 212
can be seen in the country’s healthcare expenditure - earmarked at Rp1.4
trillion (US$409 million) in the fiscal year beginning April 1998 which makes
out to 1.5% of the total budget. In comparison to this, the current allocation
for fiscal 1999 at Rp5.3 trillion or 1.4% of the total budget of Rp218.2
trillion is higher.
number of hospital beds too has increased from 105,181 in 1988
to 121,583 in 1997, and the
government has plans to increase its hospital-bed
capacity. Already on the drawing board is an international hospital with
a 120 bed capacity bali.
Philippine government is making great efforts to upgrade its healthcare system
into one of world-class standing. One method will involve the introduction of
new concepts of healthcare facilities. This includes the availability of
free-standing surgical centres and renal care units that can provide services
that were previously only available in far-flung hospitals. In addition,
shopping mall full-service outpatient clinics such as Healthway Clinic, Mediserv
and Patient First.
Philippines General Hospital (PGH) also has plans to use telemedicine to improve
their services. The National Telehealth Centre of the PGH has already garnered a
budget of 20-40 million peso to implement its plan to encourage telemedicine
practice in the Manila campus of state-run University of the Philippines. The
country’s growing healthcare system has also served to attract foreign
investors into the country. Already, a world-class hospital that costs
approximately 1 billion peso is under construction by a Singapore-Filipino joint
venture while a Korean group has plans to build a hospital in the country.
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