Bernd Montag, Global CEO & Board member, Siemens Healthineers
Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh, President, Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia / Medical Director, Prince Court Medical Centre (interviewer)
COVID-19 has brought a lot of challenges to the healthcare industry, including the uncertainty in hospitals’ cash flow as elective surgeries were postponed, medical tourism stopped, and patients became anxious about coming to hospitals. While we are on the way to recovery, the timeline may be longer.
Even though the use of technology has significantly accelerated during COVID, we still see some hesitation from hospitals to invest in technology primarily because of the cost and the pandemic’s effect on their cash flow. Still, hospitals need to acknowledge that “healthcare is a long-term business,” and the losses from the pandemic cannot be retrieved by staying put. Moreover, it is important to evaluate which technology has an attractive business case and a good investment value. After all, hospital providers still need to care for patients and this can be done by investing digitally, building technological capabilities, and making healthcare more accessible and efficient.
- COVID-19 helped us realise that healthcare is central to our lives and it has made everyone more conscious of their health.
- The pandemic has a silver lining, in particular with accelerating the digital transformation of healthcare.
- We will not make up the losses of last year by starving ourselves for the next year. The situation will not get better if we let opportunities slip.