Jan 24, 2021

Integrating Health & Social Care Services to Tackle Asia’s Ageing Population & Rise in Chronic & Multi- Morbidity: Global Developments & Lessons


Ageing population and rising prevalence of chronic diseases present challenges to the existing health and social care systems. Traditional service delivery organized around teams of experts with disease-specific management as the goal of health delivery is no longer seen as the most appropriate way to care for and meet the needs of patients with multi-morbidities (≥2 chronic conditions).

A care model based on integration and coordination between medical and social care known as integrated care (IC) has emerged and is considered paramount to long-term care and wellbeing of patients with multi-morbidities. However, a comprehensive review of IC models in Asian countries is lacking. Besides, evidence on the effectiveness of IC for multi-morbidity is still limited, particularly in Asia.

In the first year of this project, the team will conduct a cross-country comparative descriptive research. IC models adopted in Asia will be reviewed and a comprehensive description of a selected group of models will be undertaken. Specifically, the impact of financing/payment schemes of IC on the implementation will be examined. The EU SELFIE (Sustainable intEgrated care modeLs for multi-morbidity: delivery, FInancing and performance) framework, which follows the six WHO health system building blocks, will be used to guide the description and evaluation of IC models implemented in Asia.

To facilitate the exchange of ideas, a symposium will be held where researchers, managers, and policy-makers involved in IC will share their findings and experiences. The team’s ultimate goal is to set up a SELFIE-ASIA consortium, with a linkage to SELFIE-EU, to continue and sustain long-term research on IC for multi-morbidity, including intra-country evaluations (of financial/payment schemes) and evidence synthesis, and deliver strategies for implementation of IC.