Healthcare for the Pre-Middle Class in Emerging Economies

We have all heard the adage that ‘health is wealth’. It is true that good health often results in longer lifespan and higher productivity. The reality is that it is often the rich who can afford to buy health. Even though there is a growing need for affordable healthcare across all nations and social classes, there is still a general lack of healthcare goods in the lower social class as compared to their counterparts in higher echelons. The traditional business models often tend to determine price of healthcare for the upper classes, and those in lower socio-economic classes are usually expected to be the responsibility or burden of the government and public sector. With the rise of high technological innovations in healthcare and healthcare trends such as rising healthcare inflation, the market often produces goods that are beyond the affordability for most people.

This paper highlights the emergence of Pre-Middle Class (PreM) that comprises a large population in most emerging nations. To invest in this underserved economy and PreM group, there is a pressing need for healthcare market to come up with new business models to facilitate this transformation. Business models such as reverse pricing, sachet marketing, volume-based models, frugal innovation, reverse innovation, and glocalisation can be introduced to cater to the PreM group. Looking into the regional developments, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will help to form a single market and production base that may help to serve the PreM. Even though the healthcare market is unbalanced and non-uniform in providing healthcare goods as of now, Deloitte Risk Advisory believes that empowering the PreM is a viable business for the future.

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