Noncommunicable diseases will continue to be a health priority on Guam and the rest of the world, according to Frank Campillo, SelectCare Health Plan Administrator, in his presentation on Health Care Cost Trends at a Rotary meeting.
Campillo said health and community initiatives such as improved sanitation and wider healthcare access helped curb the rise in communicable diseases all over the world. Meanwhile, NCD numbers are rising globally as communities become affected by urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, changing diets, and rising obesity rates.
“We have actually won the fight against communicable diseases. A lot of people don’t realize that we don’t really die or we don’t really have much….from communicable disease. For as much as they talk about SARS and all of those things that happen in Africa, as soon they begin to hit the Western World we contain them. And in many places around the world, we realize that when you go to an airport you see infrared cameras hitting you and seeking the heat in your face and seeing whether or not you are sick. You know we have contained communicable diseases. But the problem is beating the sedentary diseases in the future, which is diabetes, heart disease, and many others that continue to affect the rest of the world,” Campillo said.
Campillo said this trend will shape the health care landscape of Guam. He said more people will seek specialty care from providers, and the island’s two hospitals – GRMC and GMH – will most likely increase their fees. Campillo foresees a medical inflation happening in the future, which will result in higher medical premiums, and higher deductibles and co-shares to defray health costs.
On a brighter note, Campillo said that advancements in medical and healthcare technology will play a role in the improvement of processes and service delivery in the future.