Top trends for healthcare in 2023
What do you see as the biggest trends likely to hit the healthcare sector in 2023?
1. The model in which healthcare operates is changing, this is an emerging trend in 2023 and beyond. We are moving away from a reactive dynamic of care, whereby an illness must occur before the patient seeks health services. People are demanding, and deserve, more than a reaction to their symptoms. A proactive preventative model is the future of healthcare; where we control a situation, rather than just responding to it after it has happened.
2. The patient-doctor relationship will increasingly move away from an ‘I say you do’ model, towards a partnership between patients, their primary care doctors and medical specialists. The current fragmentation and compartmentalisation of care leaves patients with no feeling of continuity or control of their health. We have become specialised, medicalised, and big pharmacalised and our health has been taken out of our hands; this is about to change.
3. We are beginning to see a move away from acute only care to a focus on longevity. People care about ageing well and living a long time in good health, without debilitating chronic diseases; the concept of increasing one’s healthspan, increasing not just the years in your life, but the life in your years. With this comes a deeper understanding that what’s good for your brain is good for your body and vice versa, along with the importance of strength, balance and vitality.
4. Well trained Health Coaches! Our healthcare system is missing a piece of the puzzle. The piece that enables patients to gain the confidence, knowledge and tools they need to take an active part in their own health care. Our current model of healthcare is extremely good at giving patients a fish, but a Health Coach teaches patients to fish for themselves and become a master of their own health.
A PREKURE Health Coach is a trained healthcare professional who uses current lifestyle medicine (such as what we eat, how we move and sleep) and transformative coaching methodologies to gain better health outcomes for their clients and patients. In the U.S. Health Coaching is a $7+ billion booming industry.
More and more we will begin to see the widespread adoption of Health Coaches in primary care, insurance providers and private practice throughout New Zealand.
5. Globally healthcare costs associated with treating chronic lifestyle diseases such as obesity, autoimmunity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions are projected to hit $47 trillion by 2030. Coupled with an increasing shortage of doctors and other healthcare professionals in primary care, our healthcare system, and the associated economic burden, is under extraordinary pressure.
Specialist Health Coaches and Mental Health Coaches will begin to fill this gap and provide agency to patients to improve their own health and where possible to reverse, manage and eventually prevent in the first place conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
We know that the system can work better, and it has to. Ultimately, the rapidly growing industry of Health Coaching will act as a catalyst for this change as coaches help to bridge the gap between where the patient is and where they want to go.
What do you see as the biggest health pain points coming up in 2023 and why? What will the consequence be?
Three in every five global deaths are a result of the burden of chronic disease. Our
reactive approach to health only treats the patients symptoms rather than the root cause
of the disease. As imbecilic as it sounds, this is the equivalent of having a car with an
engine light on and putting a bit of black tape over the light.
The frustration within the system is clear and is unfortunately resulting in mass exodus
of the health workforce. Not only are these practitioners overwhelmed, overworked and
underpaid, but the number one thing is that these people don’t feel like they are
achieving their purpose. The main reason they wanted to become a doctor or become a
nurse in the first place. To make a difference.
What would your advice to political parties be, who will be busy developing their manifestos?
My advice for political parties would be to truly focus on prevention and to do so by putting significant funding behind it. Don’t mistake prevention for screening of disease, that is early recognition. Prevention stops complications before they occur. For example, reversing one patient with type two diabetes will save the health system on average $300,000 and more importantly restore someones sovereignty over their own body.
We often hear about the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Let us build the fence at the top of the cliff. Prevention is the only sustainable way forward.
A way in which this can occur is the rethinking and expansion of the healthcare workforce and the training of technically able and culturally capable Health Coaches and Mental Health Coaches who are embedded within communities. Educating people that they are experts of themselves and their health is in their control.
What would you say to burnt out health professionals considering a change of career after this year?
Do it. If it’s not working within the system, get out of the system and make it work.