Health is wealth, so goes the old adage. I’ve always taken it to mean that there is nothing more valuable than good health as one cannot really enjoy the pleasures of being wealthy if not healthy.
This article is not about the adage, but about capitalism and healthcare. I am not arguing the pros and cons of whether healthcare should be state- or privately-run, I am just positing that there are opportunities for entrepreneurs who wish to help solve the problems that are associated with healthcare delivery. The UK healthcare economy is projected to reach around £267bn by 2025 (1). This is based on current spending of both governments and consumers.
The UK is blessed to have the National Health Service (NHS). As per the image below, the cost to the UK taxpayers is an average of £175bn a year (2).
The NHS is widely celebrated and cherished as being one of the best in the world. However, this is not without many challenges. One of these is the increase in waiting times to access some services, prompting patients to choose private healthcare instead, thus bolstering the private healthcare market.
Moreover, flexibility in GP referrals, where patients can opt for desired time, date, and hospital/clinic consultation, is creating a market opportunity for the players in the UK private healthcare market.
In addition, patients who are fit enough to be discharged from hospitals cannot be as care packages needed to support them, either at home or in a care facility, are often not in place. These delays, also known as bed blocking, are often susceptible to communication issues due to lack of coordination between agencies as their IT systems are incompatible and cannot securely and instantly share information. As a result, the money much needed by hospitals is needlessly wasted.
To mitigate the aforementioned issues, integrated care solutions (ICS) are one of the greatest opportunities in the healthcare industry today. ICS are complex but coordinated applications delivering end to end health and social care processes with one interconnected module.
Clinicians are not business strategists and partnering with experts who have pragmatic solutions to make healthcare more efficient and sustainably funded is crucial for the future and sustainability of the healthcare industry.
We, at OVAC Group, have recently developed a concept of integrated healthcare solutions for the industry and will be rolling it out as part of our ICT solutions. Watch this space for more features.