Soaring healthcare costs outpace economic growth in ASEAN nations

Spending on healthcare is expected to balloon by more than 70% over the next two decades in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, according to a report presented at the World Economic Forum.

Total healthcare spending in the six nations already totals about $420 billion. It could soar to $740 billion in 2025, outpacing economic growth in the major ASEAN countries. Aging populations, high rates of smoking and the adoption of more sedentary lifestyles in the region are driving the health spending boom.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), by 2050 fifteen percent of the population of the ten total ASEAN countries will be older than 65. That is more than triple the percentage of elderly in the region in 2010.