As we’ve seen during the pandemic, sectors united to focus on the challenge that was top of the world’s agenda: global health. Even before then, adjacent sectors had begun their foray into healthcare – some recognizing its growth potential, some seeing a call to action to support burdened health systems, some recognizing it as a way to touch their customers’ lives in new ways. Whatever the reason – the reality is that many non-traditional players are entering the healthcare space offering their expertise, reconfiguring their products for healthcare contexts, or creating new partnerships with health systems.

How are these sectors being welcomed (or not) by health systems? Data from the 2021 Healthcare CEO Future Pulse, a survey of 200 hospital and health system leaders around the world revealed that many CEOs (62 percent) are aware of the value of partnerships, and that — now or within the next two years — are planning to forge robust buy/build partnerships to minimize capability gaps, mitigate risks and reduce costs. For an industry that has often operated with a lot of pride and self-sufficiency, it is refreshing to see that health leaders are open to asking for help. And in the Future Pulse report, you can further read how they view these sectors – as partners, suppliers, competitors, or not on their radar at all.

We asked some of our global sector leaders in KPMG: “what are some of the emerging ways your sector is playing a role in healthcare? Are they contributing value as partners to healthcare organizations or new-entrant competitor?” Here are their views on the evolving relationship between healthcare and the government, infrastructure, technology, retail, and insurance sectors:

Since the pandemic there has been a much stronger focus on supporting the more vulnerable. We now better understand the need to ensure that whatever services are provided by either government or health systems, we must be able to service those most vulnerable successfully.

This new emphasis has seen many governments across the globe better integrate the factors that lead to health inequalities and the burden of disease into new programs and refreshed policies. For example, for people who are homeless, a number of geographies in the height of the pandemic actively moved to take rough sleepers off the street and house them in suitable accommodation to reduce their risk of being infected by COVID-19. In other places, vaccines are being provided freely to all with outreach services targeting the more vulnerable such as the elderly and people with disabilities to ensure that they are protected.

In today’s world, the relationship between government and the health sector will underpin our collective future with both sectors needing to work together if individuals, families and communities are to be safe and prosper.

Liz Forsyth
Global Head, Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare
Global Lead, Human and Social Services
KPMG International

René Vader

Health and wellness aren’t just short-term trends. People are committed to healthier living, so the consumer and retail sectors have an active role to play in helping people make better, more sustainable choices in the products they buy, the food they consume, and how they access healthcare.

There’s an opportunity to drive business growth that is good for people’s health, their communities and the planet. This should be centered around deep understanding of your customers’ health and wellness needs and preferences, leveraging the right capabilities (processes, talent, technology, data) and/or partnerships. What this might look like is partnerships that leverage the broad footprint of retail to facilitate access to care (e.g. retail pharmacies), improved dietary options that are more affordable and sustainable, and engaging consumers with information and products that allow them to make better lifestyle decisions in their daily lives. But a one-size-fits-all approach will not work as consumer demand often varies geographically. Companies and brands will need to pivot and find strategies that work for them and appeal to these demands. And while there has always been a link between healthcare organizations and the consumer and retail sector, as people are increasingly committed to healthier living - there’s an expectation we’ll embark on this journey together in the transition to consumer commerce.

René Vader
Global Head of Consumer & Retail, KPMG International; Partner, Advisory Leadership
KPMG in France


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