Pharmaceutical News
Three major problems beset the healthcare industry in need to be solved

Reported by Shen Wan-Yu from Taipei


Taiwan is becoming an ageing society.  Mr Robert Yu, the Director of Deloitte, pointed out that the management style adopted by the healthcare industry in Taiwan is still quite conventional.  Inappropriate allocation of resources and the shortage of human supply are serious problems beset the industry.  Mr Yu suggests that the medical industry and the care industry should be merged into one, and the government should make efforts to remove all regulatory and market obstacles faced by the long-term care industry.


According to the “2016 Report on the Trends in the Global Healthcare Industry” published by the Deloitte, there are four major trends in the global life-science industry, including swift changes in the market, a cost-induced reform, innovative healthcare services and regulatory changes.  The industry is moving towards company merges, the payment-by-value system and the highly efficient care system.


Mr Yu pointed out that there are thee problems in the life-science industry in Taiwan: limited rooms for market growth, the lack of global visions and the lack of funds for early stage R&D.  The environment is very hostile to new innovation companies. For established companies, their market growth has been affected by poor economic outcomes and the government’s control over drug prices.  Mr Yu suggests the industry should focus on the R&D of niche products, high margin markets and overseas markets.


Mr Yu said that the healthcare standards and the hospital management system in Taiwan are very good.   However, there is a fault in the hospital management system.  The management focuses too much on quantity than on quality.  As a result, it affects the allocation of resources.   Healthcare professionals have been overworking and the industry is losing its human capital fast.  There is an urgent need to turn this situation around.


The establishment of a supply-chain management system and the use of digitized information can speed up the coordination of internal resources in hospitals, said Mr Yu.  For example, if electronic patient’s records can be further integrated into the IoT (Internet of Things) and the Big Data, it will improve the healthcare outcomes and reduce waste. 


The demand for long-term care will increase over time as the society is getting old.  However, there is a shortage of human resources due to regulations and market factors.  The quality of care has plenty rooms for improvement; and the system’s finance need to be sorted out.


Mr Yu suggests that the industry should promote a community-based care system which covers two major areas:  long-term care and health management.  The industry can learn from the Japanese system, which differentiates the care services and payment standards according to the user’s needs.  If the industry can improve the efficiency of resources, create the value of its services, maintain its financial stability and develop the market opportunities of peripheral products, then the long-term care system can be sustainable, concluded Mr Yu.


【 United Daily News / 2016-04-17】