Through the inaugural Healthcare CEO Future Pulse 200 health leaders from around the world were surveyed on a number of topics that include: the impact of COVID-19, workforce concerns, leadership, digital health use, partnerships, and shifting paradigms in the areas of patient centricity, care and delivery models.

Health leaders are playing multi-dimensional chess – facing the classic problem of doing more with less, withstanding massive shocks like pandemics, all while planning their next moves in anticipation of the future. The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, illustrated by the detrimental effects on societies and economies when healthcare systems become overwhelmed – proving its criticality to global stability. Healthcare organizations have earned the gratitude of society with their resilience and persistence in tackling the crisis, crediting their diligent workforces, strategic agility and strong leadership. Now, as we begin to emerge from the crisis, many organizations are once again setting their sights on the future.

Based on conversations with healthcare leaders worldwide, KPMG professionals sense a wind of change coming for the sector. To better understand how healthcare executives will be charting this change in course towards the future, KPMG surveyed 200 healthcare CEOs from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. All these leaders oversee medium-to-large hospitals, health systems and care provider networks that span privately and publicly funded systems. They represent a spectrum of self-identified transformation personas, ranging from ‘innovators’ to ‘early adopters’ to ‘early majority’ to ‘laggards’ and provide us with thought-provoking insights into the future of healthcare. Views which were further elaborated upon through interviews with sector leaders.

If there is one common thread in the results, it is that healthcare executives expect and welcome reform – with 80 percent of CEOs believing that healthcare needs disruption and change, with 79 percent expecting that all aspects of care delivery models will be transformed within the next three years – which is a high ambition on a short runway for any sector.

A consistent theme throughout  this report is that most healthcare CEOs hold well-intentioned ambitions but have yet to initiate or implement many of them. To help convert their dreams to reality, KPMG health sector specialists have identified 10 perspectives for leaders to action today to help build for tomorrow. These perspectives describe the primary drivers of these changes, namely the role that technology, communities and patients themselves will play.

No matter whether we are in a crisis situation or in steadier times, the future of healthcare will continue to involve complex challenges that will require holistic, forward-looking and flexible leadership. With this inaugural report and future editions of the Healthcare CEO Future Pulse, KPMG firms aim to support health leaders in this journey together.  We welcome the opportunity to work together to these collective dreams for the sector into the reality of tomorrow.

Insights from Saudi Arabia

Within the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was one of the leading countries in handling the pandemic and its repercussions. Although only 40% of Saudi healthcare providers agreed that their organizations were somewhat well-prepared for the arrival of Covid, the pandemic has created a call for action to lead all healthcare providers to revaluate their approach in the future. To illustrate, 70% of Saudi healthcare providers strongly agreed that the healthcare industry needs disruption and change, and 60% said their organization is proactively pursing disruption and change – all respondents agreed that Covid has significantly accelerated the change agenda. 

Moreover, almost all (90%) healthcare professionals surveyed agree that the next three years are crucial in the transformation and development of the healthcare sector in the Kingdom at large, where especially healthcare delivery models will face a major transformation.

In line with the global response, healthcare professionals in the Kingdom are reconsidering their priorities as a result of the circumstances of the past two years. For instance, 40% are prioritizing greater transparency and improving staff workplace satisfaction and experience. Another 40% agreed that greater focus on digitally enabled services is at the forefront of their development plan.

Also similar to their global peers, healthcare CEOs in the Kingdom recognize the urgent need for transformation and development in the sector, and the pandemic has pushed them further in terms of developing delivery care models, digitization, patient and staff satisfaction and experience. 





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