“The healthcare services sector is expected to continuously propel ASEAN’s growth and economic activity,” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) stated while calling for the need to invest in health care of ASEAN member countries.
According to ASEAN, healthcare providers are dared to improve their skills and resources as life expectancy in the region is expected to be greater compared to other Asian countries. “As communicable diseases have successfully been placed under control and infant mortality ratio improves, focus in many ASEAN countries has shifted to treating chronic diseases and injuries which are top death causes,” ASEAN explained.
Due to higher income in the market, the Association also said that healthcare have expanded their services to aesthetic surgery, assisted reproductive technologies, sports skills rehabilitation, and weight loss centers, among others.
In order to provide better health care services, ASEAN also stated that their member countries are expected to boost their health spending like Singapore which plans to add 3,700 hospital beds and recruit 20,000 healthcare workers.
ASEAN added the importance of the contributions of private sectors to health like the Bangkok Dusit Medical Services in Thailand which invested on highly profitable non-core medical businesses, the Makati Medical Centre in the Philippines which is investing on new laboratories for disease diagnosis and treatment improvement, and the Vinmec International Hospital in Vietnam which became the country’s largest and first hotel-like hospital offering five-star hotel standard.
Medical tourism, on the other hand, also provides investments because of the increasing number of foreign patients in the region’s world-class medical facilities.
“ASEAN commits to liberalize healthcare and facilitate movement of medical, dental and other healthcare practitioners,” the Association emphasized.
To further learn about the importance of increasing investment in the health sector, you can also attend the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health (Forum 2015) on 24-27 August 2015, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). Visit www.forum2015.orgfor more details.
You can also click this link to view the ASEAN statement. ■