Mecomed position on value-based healthcare in Middle East & Africa

Health is considered the cornerstone for economic prosperity, social, environmental and human development. However, health systems, payers and governments worldwide are under intense pressure. On one hand, healthcare costs are spiralling and growing faster than national economies, and on the other, despite increased spending, there are still high variations in patient outcomes and overall quality of care across medical conditions. Representing a paradigm shift, value-based healthcare is a model that directly addresses these two challenges by focusing on patient outcomes and the right cost of delivering care.

The transformation from the current systems to value-based systems is not an easy task and the medical technology industry, thanks to its innovation, relationship with healthcare providers, therapeutic experience and wealth of data is in a unique position to enable this transformation.

In the Middle East and Africa, healthcare systems are not immune to these shifts, nevertheless, governments have significant opportunity to move faster than developed economies in implementing value-based agendas. It is a long journey and the medical technology industry is ready to partner along.

Healthcare is changing

Value-based healthcare is a fundamentally different strategy where maximizing the value for patients is the central goalThe notion of value is rather clearly defined as achieving the best possible clinical outcomes for patients at the right cost. In healthcare, this is a paradigm shift from a supply-driven healthcare system organized around what physicians do, volume of procedures and fee for service into a patient-centred system organized around patients’ outcomes and value.

While the case for a value-based system is compelling, implementing this transformation is complex. It is not a single step but rather an overarching strategy that requires restructuring how healthcare is organized, delivered and measured. This includes defining, standardizing and measuring outcomes per medical condition for the full cycle of care, integrating clinical practice around medical conditions and experimenting with care delivery models that reward value instead of volume.

Value in the Middle East & Africa

The healthcare transformation debate has largely focused on developed economies. This is not surprising as three-quarters of global healthcare expenditures are in the developed world where conventional initiatives to control healthcare costs and improve quality of care fell short.

The Middle East and Africa present some of the biggest opportunities to implement value-based healthcare initiatives and can potentially move faster than advanced economies. While emerging markets represent about one-quarter of worldwide healthcare expenditures, their spending as a percentage of GDP is growing at a much faster rate than that of the EU or the United States.

Despite registering positive economic growth, emerging markets, including Middle East and Africa, do not have to replicate the high-cost healthcare delivery models of the developed markets. Instead, have a strong appealing incentive to think differently and embrace value-based healthcare, and the fact that they are not burdened by massive legacy infrastructure, vested interests and heavy investments in non-interoperable systems and digital platforms, is a competitive advantage. Middle East and Africa can operationalize value-based systems relatively faster and easier by understanding patient population groups and the cost of care starting with the major medical conditions that are burdening the healthcare systems and investing in systematically collecting and analysing outcomes data.

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