Asia is without doubt the largest and most populated continent in the world. In fact, it is home to an entire half of the world population, thanks to monstrous populations like those in China an India. Unfortunately, the exponential rise in population has put unprecedented pressure on the limited healthcare facilities on the continent. Better developed economies such as Japan can afford decent medicare to majority of citizens. However, there is a lot to be improved on the current health systems in the poorer economies. But what is the current plight of healthcare in Asia and what can be done to improve it?
The Current State of Healthcare in Asia
At the moment, governments in Asia are grappling with the challenge of providing ample medical facilities. This is against the backdrop of population explosion, rising costs, weak insurance systems and intense public pressure demanding change. In most countries however, poverty directly exacerbates any need for change. This is especially so in rural settings where modern healthcare facilities are hard to come across despite efforts by WHO and UNICEF to set up a few. Huge chunks of both earnings and savings in low income households is gobbled up by medical expenses. UNICEF has a list of their nonprofit partners in the Asia region on their website.
On the other hand, Asia is also home to some of the most sought after healthcare facilities on the globe. Countries such as Japan, China, India, Korea and now Malaysia are reaping the benefits of investing in modern healthcare facilities. Asia also boasts some of the most celebrated doctors specialized in various medical fields. This can partly be credited to the efforts made by a host of world class medical universities in the continent. These include Peking University, University of Tokyo and All India Institute of Medical Science. Leading economies in Asia are also venturing into the manufacturing of drugs to avoid over-reliance on the generosity of the World Health Organization.
Improving Healthcare in Asia
Asia has been described as the place with the widest gulf in class within the population. The problem with healthcare in Asia is not absence but rather inadequacy. The continent boasts some of the finest facilities and best qualified manpower in healthcare. Unfortunately, quality medical care still remains a reserve for the nobles. A number of economies such as China and India are taking measures to ensure affordable and quality healthcare services can be extended to entire populations. However, the high population growth rates still remain huge impediments. This is why Asia is better off tackling the population crisis first.
Asian economies also need to invest in healthcare amenities such as hospitals and training and research facilities. International health organizations have done their part in setting up research facilities in parts of central and south east Asia. However, it is high time governments took this up as a matter of priority. Finally, the other immediate problem that must be countered is brain drain. The best Asian doctors have for decades been siphoned to the European and American markets by the lure of better pay packages. If this can be averted and the richness of Chinese herbal medicine be exploited, it won’t be long before healthcare in Asia matches or even surpasses global standards.
If you are planning a trip to an Asian country you should consider protecting your health with an insurance plan so you can access the best quality healthcare in your destination country.” – also include The World Health Organization recommends policies based on the needs and culture of Asian countries.