Sunday, June 16, 2013

Malaysia - Rising Affluence and Awareness Contribute Strongly to a Bright Outlook for the Asia-Pacific Hospital Market

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The prevalence of chronic and infectious diseases, changing demographics, and increasing disposable incomes have created tremendous opportunities for the hospital sector in Asia-Pacific.

Rising patient awareness spurs demand for quality healthcare services, forcing hospitals to adopt innovative technology, thereby aiding market development.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Asia-Pacific Hospital Outlook 2013, finds that the market earned revenues of more than US$377.90 billion in 2012 and estimates this to reach US$1085.98 billion in 2017. The countries covered in the research are China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Governments in Asia-Pacific remain the main financiers of healthcare, with more than 55 percent of the total healthcare expenditure in the region incurred by the public sector. However, inadequate budgets have led to resource constraints in terms of doctors, nurses, hospitals and hospital beds in public hospitals. The lack of resources to handle the growing number of patients decreases the quality of care in these choked facilities.

"Private hospitals, on the other hand, are growing by virtue of favourable government policies, which encourage investments in state hospitals and public-private partnerships," said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Senior Industry Analyst Nitin Dixit. "Nevertheless, high costs in the sector may deter potential consumers even if the quality of care is good."

Another market challenge is the uneven distribution of healthcare facilities and resources in Asia-Pacific. Rural areas in most countries have poor access to healthcare. In addition, more than 90 percent of large, quality private hospitals in the region are located in Indonesia and Thailand alone.

Despite this, the private hospital segment is expected to see robust growth primarily due to an ageing, yet affluent population, as well as growing medical tourism, particularly in Thailand, Singapore, India and Malaysia. The acquisition of smaller hospitals by large hospital groups provides added economic impetus to the healthcare system in the region.

New hospital designs, fresh business models, integration of holistic healthcare, and strong focus on healthcare IT will be crucial for private and public hospitals in the region to increase their competitiveness.

Market players need to invest extensively in installing, maintaining, and upgrading hospital information systems to enhance operational efficiency, clinical outcomes, and profitability. Sustainable and innovative business models such as green buildings and day care centers will ensure market expansion.

"Electronic medical and electronic health records systems will be top priority in hospital budgets in the next five years," observed Dixit. "Smart hospitals are anticipated to evolve over the next decade in Asia-Pacific."

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