There can be no doubt that our healthcare system is under great stress. For some, the problems we face are insurmountable. For others, probably a minority, they are real and difficult to overcome, but they are an opportunity. As with so many things, it depends on your outlook. Our own view is captured in our brand: we are optimistic, collaborative, dialogue-driven, and we believe in research and innovations for practical, provable solutions. In short, we believe that every challenge we face, however steep, can be overcome.
There are provisos. Without collaboration, all our efforts are diffuse, separated, inefficient, perhaps even contradictory. The good news is that with Thuma Mina, and the already repeated exhortations from the President to work together, there is a very real sense of collaboration sweeping across the country. In healthcare, a number of public and private collaborations are already in evidence. Some will be featured at our annual conference in Cape Town, in August. There are collaborations between private hospitals and provincial departments, and there are collaborations between public and private hospitals.
Perhaps the most obvious collaborative initiative was the Presidential Health Summit that will soon release a Compact between stakeholders from diverse viewpoints and backgrounds with the aim of getting everyone to work together to address the challenges facing the public healthcare system.
There are also ongoing discussions about the shape and form of reforms to be proposed to increase access to quality healthcare for all in South Africa. We are confident that out of these discussions solutions will arise that address the many challenges facing us and that will in the future enable all of us to bequeath to following generations healthcare that ensures everyone, regardless of who they are, has access to the care they need.
The much-discussed ‘new dawn’ is very much with us in healthcare. How we respond depends on what our outlook is: do we collaborate and to draw on the strengths, insights, experiences, and resources of others to create solutions that work for all; do we commit ourselves to optimism; do we ensure we enter into dialogue with each other as equals; and do we place emphasis on research and innovation for practical and provable solutions? As we say in our communications: we do.
Since we do, and we believe all others in this era of Thuma Mina likewise do, we believe there is indeed a ‘new dawn’ heralding us in healthcare.