Philips CEO calls on ASEAN government and industry leaders to align forces to improve healthcare access
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Addressing the BusinessWeek ASEAN Symposium on Access to Healthcare in Kuala Lumpur, President and CEO of Royal Philips Electronics, Gerard Kleisterlee, today pressed public and private sector leaders to urgently come together to remove barriers to providing access to quality healthcare. During a keynote speech to key representatives from business, government, healthcare and insurance organizations, Mr.Kleisterlee emphasized the importance of ensuring the well-being of ASEAN’s rising population to drive the region’s economic stability.
“In the 21st century, access to quality healthcare is a basic human right. We cannot accept that millions of people die every year in South East Asia simply because they don’t have access to available healthcare,” said Mr. Kleisterlee. “We must address access issues at every stage of care – from prevention, to early diagnostics and after-care. And this requires collaboration from all stakeholders including healthcare regulators, the insurance industry and technology leaders.”
More than 35 percent of the 27 million deaths each year in South East Asia occur among people between the ages of 30 and 69. This represents a tremendous loss in terms of productive workers for ASEAN countries. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and cancer represent the top three illnesses among the middle-aged, and while treatment exists, many die because it is too expensive. In ASEAN’s more rural areas where infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria are rampant, the lack of infrastructure, healthcare information and skilled professionals all contribute to the region’s pressing healthcare challenges.
“We cannot achieve prosperity without quality healthcare,” said Mr. Kleisterlee. “ASEAN’s emerging markets offer tremendous opportunities, yet an increasingly aging population and rising spread of chronic and communicable diseases threaten to hold back progress and growth.”
Through promoting dialogue amongst public and private sector leaders, the Symposium aims to identify potential solutions to removing barriers to healthcare access. Solving challenges such as improving basic electrical and telecommunications infrastructure to support technology that could greatly increase the level of care available to rural populations, requires collaboration from government as well as industry. Similarly, building a strong pool of well-trained healthcare technicians and local healthcare workers requires involvement and commitment from diverse constituents including education and technology equipment manufacturers.
“Philips is passionate about healthcare. We believe it is much more than just another large industry or business. In healthcare, more than in any other sector, we can make a difference; we can have a direct and dramatic positive impact on the quality of people’s lives,” said Mr. Kleisterlee. “It is our strong belief that in healthcare, we can do well by doing good. As key stakeholders in this sector, we must align our agendas and incentives to eliminate barriers to healthcare access. No one business, institution or government organization can solve this pressing issue alone, and it’s the role of industry to provide new products and services that will form the foundations for a strong, financially sustainable healthcare system.”
Philips collaborative innovation milestones
Delivering on its vision to create value at every stage of care and to advance the health and well-being of individuals through relevant and meaningful technology solutions, Philips has established partnerships with local governments and industry to address many of the healthcare access challenges facing the region today.
Philips launched the Easy Web (E-Web) Healthcare System in cooperation with the Philippines Heart Center, Manila earlier this year to provide rural populations in the Philippines with access to quality healthcare through an Internet based on-line referral and diagnosis service. This remote patient management solution addresses some of the most critical stages of the healthcare cycle: early detection and aftercare.
Philips has initiated a partnership with ORET, a Dutch government foreign loan assistance program and The Philippines Department of Healthwhich has paved the way for the delivery of state of the art medical equipment and related services to select government hospitals in the remote provinces of the Philippines.
Philips’ collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore, has already resulted in the successful development of technologies that put patients first and lower care giver workloads. The partnership promotes innovation by bringing Tamasek students together with Philips consultants at Philips InnoHub in Singapore and Philips Medical Systems facility in the United States.
Philips recently celebrated the one year anniversary of Asia Pacific’s first Learning Centre for advanced medical diagnostics equipment training based in Singapore. The center provides the region with a much-needed facility to develop trained professionals that can operate technologically advanced high-performance diagnostic equipment.
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