Presenters: Chipo Mupure and Richard Chivaka, Spark Health, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
Based on our experience working in healthcare systems over the years, below are the key messages that we would like to communicate. Strengthening the healthcare system to produce measurable and sustainable results, requires:
- Human asset development that shifts the emphasis from hard skills (technical) to the so-called soft skills (human). We now know that for governments to produce the desired and measurable healthcare results, the mind of the human in the system has to be transformed from the ‘victim of the poor health systems’ mentality, to a ‘steward and champion of the system’ thinking
- A crop of healthcare leaders who understand and comprehend the reality that soft skills are difficult to develop and leverage to produce the desired health outcomes. Soft skills tend to be sticky and therefore much more onerous, compared to the hard skills.
- A new way of thinking on healthcare service delivery that shifts mind-sets from deficit to asset-based thinking;
- A recognition that healthcare professionals are the most important asset in the system, hence the need to focus on human asset development from the inside out!
- The development of a culture for creative use of existing resources, given the resource-constrained Africa governments, so as to ensure strides made in combating key healthcare challenges, such as the HIV pandemic, are sustained.
- The culture of ‘home-grown’ innovations, which are based on people’s way of life. Such innovations tend to survive the test of time because their DNA is not alien to the macro and micro environments that define and create the determinants of health.