EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Creating a Sustainable Healthcare Ecosystem in South-East Asia

Jun 12, 2013 8:00 AM ET

By Harjit Gill, Chief Executive Officer, ASEAN and Pacific, Philips Electronics Singapore

In South-East Asia today, most countries face a difficult dilemma – Should limited resources be used to combat the rapid growth of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that take such a terrible toll on human life and economic development, or should those resources go towards expanded efforts to reduce the debilitating effects of poverty?

Some say it’s an either/or proposition, but that’s a false choice. The truth is you can’t achieve one without the other. Economic vitality helps create and support innovative and effective healthcare systems, but no country can succeed economically without a healthy workforce. Health and wealth must go hand in hand.

Creating a smart healthcare ecosystem in South-East Asia that meets the challenges of NCDs will save millions of lives and billions of dollars in economic output. That’s a win-win prescription for a region in the midst of an unprecedented epidemiologic and economic transition driven, in part, by the rise in NCDs.

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