Summit to focus on transforming healthcare in South africa

Summit to focus on transforming healthcare in South africa

The Inclusive Innovation Healthcare Summit, one of the first official events on the World Design Capital 2014 calendar, gets under way this week and will be looking to generate creative and inclusive solutions that cut across disciplines and sectors in order to improve SA’s ailing healthcare sector.

Hosted by the UCT Graduate School of Business and the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, the summit is the first of its kind in Africa and will give international and local innovators, experts and influencers the opportunity to discuss and debate what healthcare innovation means in (and for) Africa.

In recognition of the human-centred approach to design thinking and the World Design Capital 2014, the summit’s theme is “designing solutions, addressing needs”.

Conference organiser, Dr Lindi van Niekerk, explains that this means the needs of patients will be at the heart of the discussion as participants seek to explore how things can be done differently – in a resource constrained environment – in order to create better health outcomes.

Participants will hear from both international and local speakers as well as from healthcare workers from across the country, and will learn from best-practice solutions already in operation.

“No-one understands the challenges and the gaps in service delivery as well as the doctors and nurses on the front lines. They are responding to real needs and mostly their solutions are inclusive. In other words, they take the patient’s reality into account,” said van Niekerk.

The summit marks the launch of a wider initiative in Inclusive Healthcare Innovation at UCT, which is a response to the numerous challenges facing the country in delivering healthcare to those who need it most.

“The complexity of challenges faced in healthcare is calling for different paradigms of thinking and for the co-creation of new innovative solutions,” said Dr Francois Bonnici, Director of the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation, which is driving the initiative.

“Now more than ever innovation is required to develop solutions that can improve the delivery of healthcare in Africa in an inclusive, effective and affordable manner. These solutions must transcend current challenges in the system to improve health outcomes for patients but also to change the routines, responsibility and values of our health-workers responsible for delivering the care.”

World Design Capital 2014 Programme Manager, Jenni Kruger said, “The Summit captures the spirit of collaboration in design that we are hoping to achieve for our recognised projects. Our programme this year has placed a focus on design in service of the citizen and healthcare facilities feature high up on how communities will be transformed through design.”

Headline speakers at the event include:

  • Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi
  • Professor Anjali Sastry from the MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Richard Stubbs from the National Health Service in the UK
  • Financial Times Health correspondent, Andrew Jack

They will join a host of local and African presenters including:

  • Gustav Praekelt from the Praekelt Foundation
  • Dr Richard Gordon from Strategic Health Innovation Partnership.

The Inclusive Healthcare Innovation will be based in the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the GSB and in the Department of Medicine at UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital. Support for the initiative has been received from the Department of Science and Technology, the National Department of Health the South African Medical Research Council, and the Technology Innovation Agency.

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