SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

March 30, 2011 06:32 ET

Frost & Sullivan Projects Private Healthcare Markets in CEE Countries and Russia to Maintain High Growth Rate Through to 2016

LONDON--(Marketwire - March 30, 2011) - The private healthcare market in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and Russia is witnessing double-digit growth. The main challenges the market has to overcome include the economic downturn, limited affluence of the population and the lack of social acceptance for healthcare privatisation. Nevertheless, growth is expected to be driven by poorly functioning public healthcare systems and ageing societies, which generate demand for more healthcare services. Overall market trends such as consolidation will further bolster market prospects in the coming years.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.healthcareIT.frost.com), Private Healthcare Market in Central and Eastern European Countries and Russia, finds that the CEE and Russian Market earned revenues of $14.9 billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach $31.8 billion in 2016.

"Public healthcare systems in CEE and Russia are facing severe difficulties and challenges, such as insufficient financing, long waiting lines or bribery," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Dominika Grzywinska. "This pushes more and more people towards private healthcare services."

As the healthcare systems in CEE countries and Russia were reformed in the 1990s and early 2000s, they are still relatively immature and beset by multiple flaws as well as poor functioning. The key challenges faced by public healthcare systems include widespread corruption and bringing treatment costs in line with the private system.

"Insufficient financing is causing a shortage of resources allocated to treatment, which has resulted in long waiting lines for specialist appointments, lack of coverage of certain services or poor quality of available services," adds Grzywinska. "This situation offers an opportunity for private providers to attract patients and gain market share."

One of the key challenges that private healthcare providers in CEE and Russia are facing is the lack of social acceptance for privatisation of healthcare. People fear that the privatisation processes could lead to a situation when healthcare services are available only for a fee. These doubts have been intensified due to the economic slowdown, which severely limited people's disposable income in some CEE countries.

"As these countries transitioned from centrally organised to decentralised healthcare systems, there has been significant resistance to private healthcare; many citizens consider healthcare a service that should be provisioned 'free of charge' by the state," explains Grzywinska. "This is exemplified by the ongoing discussion on privatisation of hospitals in Poland or the deep dissatisfaction of Czechs once the mandatory fees for publicly provisioned services were introduced in 2008."

Market participants need to provide objective information and educational campaigns about healthcare privatisation to convince societies about the benefits of private healthcare. Companies able to effectively address the gaps that have not been fulfilled by the public healthcare system are positioned to make strong revenue gains.

"Private healthcare providers should focus on providing best-in-class services at affordable prices," advises Grzywinska. "Moreover, they should tailor their offerings to meet the needs of particular target groups such as prepaid services, insurance programme and fee-for-service offerings."

If you are interested in more information on Frost & Sullivan's study on the Private Healthcare Market in Central and Eastern European Countries and Russia, please send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Corporate Communications, at katja.feick@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

Private Healthcare Market in Central and Eastern European Countries and Russia is part of the Healthcare & Life Sciences IT Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: Health Recession Proof? - An Analysis of Status of Healthcare Industry in Some Developed Nations and Key Trends and Indicators in European Healthcare Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Private Healthcare Market in Central and Eastern European Countries and Russia (M63F)

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