Amid a global pandemic, health systems are under more pressure than ever before. Hospital waiting lists have never been so long, with six million patients awaiting treatments in the UK, queues of 75 people awaiting each hospital bed in India, and similar backlogs being seen elsewhere around the world. The question is: how can today’s health systems relieve all this pressure, at scale, for good? Is a shift towards preventative care the answer?
According to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, the global economic impact of the five leading chronic diseases – which includes cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease and respiratory disease – could reach US$47 trillion over the next 20 years. At the same time, the World Health Organization predicts that the global deficit of skilled healthcare professionals will reach 18 million by 2030.