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For-profit health care at the cross roads

Next week is a real opportunity to assess where health care services is internationally at HBI 2022 in London. So what are the big questions?

Here are the half dozen I want the conference to answer:

1. How will the recession impact the sector?

Demand is likely to go on rocketing in many countries as the public sector struggles to keep up. But what impact will galloping inflation have? And as interest rates rise will some highly leveraged companies sink rather than swim? And does all this lessen investor appetites?

2. Can we do anything about its image?

Reputational risk appears to be rising steeply with unfavourable and often highly biased media reporting week after week. This may translate into exclusionary laws as the type being pushed now in Spain. So how big is the risk? What if anything should the industry do about it?

3. Do ecosystems work?

Most large groups are widening their offer to enable a closer and deeper relationship with the patient. Is this attainable? And are there enough synergies between primary care, imaging and secondary care to create meaningful benefits?

4. How important are AI and digital health?

How are they integrated into care? And where do they really provide tangible benefits – now and in three years time?

5. Does anyone have even a partial solution to the workforce conundrum?

It is easy to state the problem. But what practical long- and short-term solutions are there? And how can they be adopted by companies?

6. So what will the sector look like in five years time?

More outpatient, more integrated, bigger, more subscription driven? More accepted by the public sector as a source of solutions, innovation and capacity? And will we see radical new business models?

Those are my questions for next week. What are yours?

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Max Hotopf or call 0207 183 3779.