12 Nov AN AFRICAN OVERVIEW by Julian Hutz
Hutz Medical attended the LNoppen Healthcare Summit held in Kampala, Uganda in September 2019.
During the event prominent government officials and health industry stakeholders from various countries gathered to discuss and present numerous initiatives that are driving the infrastructural development of healthcare across the African continent. It was clearly asserted that across all fronts, whether private, public or a combination thereof, opportunities exist for a collective approach to healthcare excellence.
In Rwanda, a centre for Biomedical engineers is being developed. In Uganda, a world-class Cancer Institute is being built while the Kidney Institute in Kenya is set to have each region focus on respective NCD’s that are affecting the growing populations.
While on the subject of growth of healthcare in Africa, a good focus would be the standards of health facilities, be it standards in providing continuous high levels of engineering or standards in the levels of care systems.
A hospital is not just a hotel with ailing citizens, but rather a complex machine that requires a finely coordinated implementation of critical Service Supply Systems to be able to adequately function.
A hospital, the building itself, needs to house the human resources in such a manner that each Departments’ responsibilities are able to be carried out to the utmost level of efficiency, whether it be Waste Management, Nursing or the Surgeon himself. Each care level plays an integral part in the ecosystem that allows patients to enter and return to their normal lives once healed.
Achieving this the hospital must be equipped with the health technology specified for the purpose of the facility, a complex and daunting task that is often overlooked once implemented. Hospital Engineers and Consulting Engineers, are showing themselves to be of increasing importance to ensure that, as hospitals are being built, that they are built purposefully and within the budget confirmed in the concept stage of the project. No longer can we convert a “house” into a “clinic” and call it a hospital.
Now is the time when governments have clearly identified the importance of implementing a Hospital Engineer’s knowledge of what the concept of world-class healthcare facilities really means. This focus allows the transfer of knowledge which in turn allows the concepts and requirements to be included in healthcare facilities.
The result? A win-win situation where a hospital not only meets the standards and norms required internationally, but it also provides a ray of hope and a beacon of light to the patients who lives are altered by being treated there and having access to a fully equipped medical facility.