GE and Standard Bank have officially launched their new ‘Accelerator Programme’ for South African Healthcare Professionals at the R500 million GE Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg.
The two companies say the six-month Healthcare Accelerator programme aims to equip healthcare professionals with technical, clinical and business skills they can use to improve and grow their public or private practices.
GE South Africa’s BBBEE partner Londvolota will oversee courses on the programme which covers business plan development, digital practices, human resources and marketing to be held at the GE Africa Innovation Centre itself, at the Standard Bank Incubator as well as at Standard Bank’s Durban and Cape Town offices.
Farid Fezoua, President & CEO GE Healthcare Africa, says the Health Accelerator Programme will go a long way in tackling health challenges across the African continent.
“If you put things into the bigger picture, you’ve got an estimated 5.8 billion people around the world that have little or no access to healthcare today, in 2017. If you look at Africa specifically which is home to 11 % of the world population, we carry 24 % of the global disease burden and we have only 1% of global healthcare expenditure. The task is daunting and I think GE as a technology company has a role to play.”
Fezou says the Health Accelerator Programme is part of GE’s Enterprise and Supplier Development Accelerator in Africa and will bring together competencies from GE and Standard Bank in a new and impactful way.
“You can make a difference by putting together technology and financing and in our case service and maintenance as well along the way. In Africa this has not always been the case and we usually buy technology and without a focus on training and building capability or we don’t think about getting affordable financing or the servicing of equipment. I think this is where we will be bringing change and I think it can be done because, together with Standard Bank, (we) have already contributed to modernise 98 hospitals in 47 counties across Kenya and we are going to be working over a sustainable solution over a seven to ten year period and we can ensure that the hospitals at least within the radiology and the diagnostic units will run in an optimum manner.”
Only delegates from South Africa are taking part in Health Accelerator Programme because this is designed to serve as a pilot to help inform strategy on future plans.
Sim Tshabalala, joint CEO of Standard Bank says the Health Accelerator Programme builds on a longstanding relationship between GE and Standard Bank in Africa