HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Philippines

Dr. Joseph Mocanu shares why decentralisation is the choice for sustainable healthcare

He will share his thoughts on decentralisation of healthcare.

Dr. Joseph Mocanu is Managing Director at Verge Capital Management and Advisor at Lifetrack Medical Systems, Inc. With a strong technical foundation, he has been involved in more than 75 projects across 20 countries, responding to the needs of large organisations and health systems. His deep expertise and broad experience have given him the confidence to place bets on founders and solutions that may make a real difference in addressing the problems in healthcare, particularly in developing markets.

Healthcare Asia got a chance to talk to Dr. Mocanu before his visit for the first leg of the 2019 Healthcare Asia Forum at Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Give us a brief background of your work experience and the steps you took which paved way to your success as a business leader.

I was very lucky to have had a wide variety of experiences in life. I started programming from a very young age, shifted into a different kind of programming (genetics) in university, became a scientist, accidentally started a medical device company, went to business school, then started my ‘professional’ career in private equity, healthcare management consulting, and finally venture investing where I am today.

What are your key business philosophies?

This may sound cliché but trust and integrity are key – if you are always worrying about the character and competence of those you are doing business with, it detracts attention from solving the myriad of problems, large and small, that exist in healthcare. Others that I like to adhere to are: fail quickly, solve only worthwhile meaningful problems, and surround yourself with people who are stronger or smarter than you.

On the topic, can you explain how decentralisation can solve healthcare problems in developing markets? What will be the key to achieving improved service quality and coverage?

Over 5 billion people in the world do not have access to quality healthcare – part of it of course is affordability, but I would argue that access is an even greater challenge. We simply do not have enough doctors, nurses, clinics and hospitals to adequately meet the healthcare needs of our various populations, and the infrastructure that does exist, tends to be concentrated in major cities, leaving those in Tier 3/4 cities, and villages, with few options other than travel or ignore treatment. This is costly to the individual, their families and societies at large. Decentralisation can allow for the separation of data collection and diagnosis, so you can retain much of the specialised talent in the major urban centres, while being able to meaningfully diagnose, triage, and treat those who otherwise would have had to leave their homes. Granted you won’t be able to do everything remotely, but I would wager that most problems can at least be partially addressed in this manner.

The key enabling factors would include good telecom infrastructure, national and vendor neutral health records, cheap point-of-care diagnostics and devices, and a regulatory framework that allows for these innovations to be rolled out quickly and effectively.

Tell us more about what you will be discussing in Manila during the 2019 Healthcare Asia Forum.

I will be making the case for why there is no other choice but to encourage decentralisation of care if we are ever to have sustainable and accessible healthcare. I will provide a few examples of solutions that have worked and lessons that we can learn from their journeys. I look forward to the discussion and thank you all in advance for your interest and attendance. 

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