KPMG warns emerging healthcare systems not to copy western models

Emerging health economies face major long-term financial problems if they try to replicate hospital-based western models, a report by KPMG warns.

The report, Necessity: the mother of innovation, highlights significant underlying financial weaknesses in the health systems of a number of developing countries.

It concludes that instead of looking at established ways of working, emerging health systems need to seize the opportunity to develop new, flexible, community-focused solutions.

Co-author Mark Britnell, chairman of the KPMG global healthcare practice and partner in the UK, said: ‘The last decade has seen a huge explosion in the number of people moving from poverty to financial independence. More than a billlion people, with a combined wealth of $33tn [£20tn], are now thought to belong to this new population bracket.

‘Such a major demographic shift is putting massive pressure on health systems. We don’t believe that they can respond to these challenges by copying what is already out there. To be sustainable they need to find innovative new ways to respond to these changing demand patterns and escalating costs.’

Compiled with input from more than 70 KPMG member firm clients and health leaders, Necessity: the mother of innovation argues that, in trying to meet rising middle-class aspirations, a number of countries are looking to western-style healthcare models built around high-tech, secondary-care interventions.

But, the report concludes, the volatile nature of rapidly developing economies means that many of these systems are failing to translate this high-cost, hospital-based approach into real value.

Instead, countries and systems that are taking a whole-systems approach, using community care models and payment regimes that focus on population health improvement, are the ones most likely to be delivering affordable, sustainable, high-quality care.