PHILIPS Medical Systems, the world's second largest healthcare technologies and services provider, sees tremendous growth potential in the Malaysian healthcare sector due to an expanding affluent class, the increase in lifestyle diseases and a growing ageing population.
Its Asia-Pacific vice-president and general manager Wayne Spittle said the more affluent lifestyle and increased health-consciousness had created a huge demand for world-class, effective and efficient healthcare technologies and services.
“With cardiovascular and hypertension being the number one killer disease in Malaysia, the demand for diagnostic products is growing vastly,” he said.
In Malaysia, Philips is among the top three players in the medical systems market. It had captured over 50% share in the cardiovascular equipment market, he told StarBiz recently in Kuala Lumpur.
Business in Malaysia has been achieving double-digit growth.
Spittle said Malaysia today spent about 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare whereas the US spent about 14% and Group of Seven (G-7) countries between 5% and 8% on health. Thus he expects Malaysian healthcare cost to increase.
Meanwhile, through the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the Government has put a huge emphasis on healthcare development.
He said Malaysia lately had also spent about 7.5% of total health expenditure on medical equipment and supplies. “This is a very encouraging sign,” he added.
In Asia-Pacific, Spittle stressed, the major healthcare challenges are the increasing ageing population and lifestyle diseases like cancer and heart diseases that were brought on by rapid urbanisation and affluent lifestyle.
“Today, seniors represent about 15% of the population in the developed world,” he said, adding that by 2030, the number of people aged over 60 in Asia-Pacific would have more than doubled from today.
“A projected 1.1 billion of the region's population will then be city dwellers.”
Therefore, Philips Medical is developing technologies that best suit the needs of the region's population, according to him.
Spittle said in emerging countries like China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia and Thailand, rising access to healthcare was a dramatic challenge that needed urgent solutions.
He said that currently, the medical systems unit accounted for over 20% of the group's turnover.
It would continue to aggressively grow its market share in Asia-Pacific and venture into more markets, he said.