With recent changes in the global political landscape comes considerable uncertainty as to the future of health care worldwide. The Red Cross has classified Britain’s National Health Service a humanitarian crisis. In the United States, President Trump used his first press conference to communicate his intent to regulate drug prices.
The public and political conversations pertaining to health care reform in global and local contexts, though, have focused on the impact that policy changes have on patients. These conversations are meritorious as the objective of health care is to provide care to patients. But the health care ecosystem is more than just patients.
With this in mind, APCO Insight engaged health care providers (HCP) to understand how recent changes have impacted these individuals and where they see the industry heading. We surveyed doctors, nurses and pharmacists in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the United States. The series of blog posts that follow share some of our insights from this survey.
A Culture of High Costs:
Health care providers are acutely aware of the impact of rising costs on patients and the health care ecosystem.
Health care providers are acutely aware of the impact of costs on patients and the health care ecosystem. For example, across the globe they express that the cost of prescription drugs in their respective countries are unreasonable (59%).
Notably, though, there are a variety of reasons for the increased costs of health care – beyond the price of medicines. Instead, globally, providers are more likely to cite as the largest drivers of costs: aging populations (56%), deteriorating social conditions (i.e. income and educational inequality; 36%), and increased comorbidity rates (35%).
With rising costs and affordability of care, budgetary constraints are a major concern. Ninety-one percent of respondents are worried that budget pressure will negatively impact the quality of care (49% are very concerned). Particularly, budget constraints and pressure have negatively impacted access to the latest medical tools (58%); amount of time spent with individual patients (57%); the development of new prescription medicines (51%); the ability of providers to make independent decisions about treatment plans (51%); and a shortage of health care providers (57%).