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Changing Times Of Healthcare Investment In ASEAN

Changing Times Of Healthcare Investment In ASEAN

Aditya Agarwal, Principal of Life Sciences and Healthcare from Roland Berger looks at ASEAN’s investment developments in healthcare.

The classic rules of road of investing in large brands, pursuing value creation with rigour, developing solutions that payers or patients shall be willing to pay for shall continue to hold true. However, with these new trends, investment themes and portfolios in SEA will likely be far more cohesive in their value proposition rather being a mosaic of assets serving short term financial objective.

Increased Demand, Focused On Domestic Middle Class

Pre-COVID, ASEAN’s healthcare investment landscape was heavily focused on traditional models like super specialty hospitals and distribution of high-end medical products. These investments largely were on assets focusing on a premium play such as hospitals serving cash rich patients and medical tourists.

With shift in government priorities, maturing universal coverage across markets, post-pandemic hyper-awareness and adoption of digital health tools – the investment landscape and priorities are shifting towards a more value based approach. From our recent conversations and deal support we see the emergence of a few themes: Despite the major decline in patient volumes in outpatient and elective surgeries, financial performance of non-medical tourism super-specialty hospitals was healthy in 2020-2021.

While medical tourism volumes are eventually expected to return, hospitals with a healthy mix of universal coverage patients and focusing on the needs of the middleclass, have become relatively more attractive. Improved universal coverage payment cycles and reimbursement rates have encouraged private hospital groups to increase focus on the middle-of the pyramid.


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