Quality healthcare for all: starting from a strong base

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Global spending on healthcare totals US$ 7 trillion and could double by the next decade. A big market for health services, the base of the pyramid (BOP), represents about two-thirds of the global population.

Demographic changes and global economic shifts are turning the business world’s attention to emerging markets, where most of the BOP lives. Companies focused on responsible, inclusive, and long-term growth are also changing the way the private sector defines value and where and how it looks to find new revenue.

Grants are good, but not enough

How sustainable is the traditional model of providing healthcare to the BOP through grants, subsidies, donations and taxes? Consider these factors:

Many donor initiatives are not multiyear

  • Global health programs are a small percentage of national budgets
  • Donors’ criteria to provide assistance for health is often determined by national GDP (meaning that there’s a gap of development aid for health amongst middle income countries)
  • Funders from outside recipient countries often direct donations toward national or regional health priorities, which overshadow local needs at the individual customer level

Above all, grants are often employed for short run health priorities and initiatives, and may be less effective in contributing to long-term growth and development of healthcare infrastructures.

Opportunities in the BOP market

Meeting the needs of the BOP through affordable microinsurance: Can health insurers offer adequate coverage at low prices and still make a profit? Schemes like microinsurance – offering tailored coverage specifically to populations that cannot afford conventional insurance – hold promise.

Selling affordable products to the BOP market: Businesses have had success adopting an approach called frugal innovation, or designing a functional, low-cost product for emerging economies.

Leveraging technology to optimize available resources: Technology will be the key to bringing scale and capacity to healthcare for the BOP.

Develop complimentary, cross-sector partnerships: With so much of the health system in countries with large BOP populations reliant on both the public and private sectors, partnerships between the two are a necessity.

Contact us

Chandresh Harjivan
Principal, Public Sector
Tel: +1 (301) 455 0450

Shabana Farooqi
Director, Public Sector
Tel: +1 (571) 215 5222

Therese McCabe
Senior Associate
Tel: +1 (703) 918 3508

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