GE and Standard Bank have launched a six month-long Healthcare Accelerator Programme at the GE Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg to help local healthcare professionals improve their technical, clinical and business skills.

Other than being held at the GE Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg, the programme, which includes courses on business plan development, digital practices, human resources and marketing, is also being run at the Standard Bank Incubator as well as at Standard Bank’s offices in Durban and Cape Town.

According to President and CEO at GE Healthcare Africa, Farid Fezoua, 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,” said Fezoua.

Fezoua added that 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 without a focus on training and building capability, or we don’t think about getting affordable financing or the servicing of equipment,” said Fezoua.

“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 10 year period and we can ensure that the hospitals at least within the radiology and the diagnostic units will run in an optimum manner,” concluded Fezoua.

GE South Africa’s BBBEE partner, Londvolota is overseeing the Health Accelerator Programme, which is intended to serve as a pilot to help inform strategy on future plans.

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