The Business of Health in the 21st Century


Keynote Speech of Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos, MD, MBA

In his keynote speech during the 25th Joint Annual Convention of the Philippine Lipid and Atherosclerosis Society (PLAS) and Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) last February 26- 28, 2020 at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, The Medical City CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos impressed upon the convention delegates what “The Business of Health in the 21st Century” is all about.

Rhetorically, he asked why some doctors are more successful than others and thus highlighting the need for foresight and creativity in the practice of the medical profession.

The business of health is best led and managed by medical professionals who have a stake in it. Health defines life and its development such that it is integral to everything that we do and want to achieve in any and every industry, in every segment of our lives.

From the doctor’s end, there is a need to “change our mindset and widen our perspective because we have the capacity to lead if and when we want to,” stresses Dr. Ramos. This statement is in reference to the core product of the business of health: the doctor-patient relationship.

Doctors must act promptly and creatively using all professional knowledge and resources to produce “an empowered patient.” From a macro perspective, “knowledge, skills and talent, and the capacity for innovation are investments in human capital.”

Inherent professional conflicts caused by the dichotomies of being clinicians and business people, of being doctors in practice and being doctors based in the academe, must be reconciled.

Forewarning on Eric Topol’s Creative Destruction of Medicine for the past 40 years that specifically led to the set-up of the great inflection of medicine, Dr. Ramos presented the super convergence of the “population-based and treating the sick focused of medicine in the 20th century” to the “digitizing humans, individualized medicine and upgrading the healthy focus of medicine in the 21st century.”

When businessmen take over the business or when the business is run for the wrong reasons, it is often the patients who must pay the price. The problem is further compounded by the state of social media and the virality of fear and misinformation as caused by the borderlessness and interconnectedness characters of globalization as it affects public policies, regulations and governance. To prepare for the digital transformation of medicine, doctors must be aware of the overlapping variables of biology, technology and culture.

“We need to be multi-dimensional and strive to be relevant in the business of our profession. Being part of a bigger whole, working in teams, revisiting our practice and business models are key to adapting to the disruptive changes in healthcare,” are Dr. Eugenio F. Ramos’ parting words. – The Medical City CEO Dr. Eugenio Jose F. Ramos V.C. Ventura

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