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South Africa’s Healthcare Challenge
In many ways South Africa is a frontier nation, a junction of different worlds. As one of the giants in Africa and an aspiring player on the world stage the country has some of the best elements, and some of the worst, of both the developed world and the third world. There seems to be few other places on earth that have the same mix of wealth and poverty, and progress and decay, and all in such close proximity.
Along with the diversity of the nation comes a long list of health challenges. In the more disadvantaged areas many people suffer from infectious diseases. South Africa is still mired in an HIV/AIDS epidemic which, if the research is accurate, is being addressed but is far from over. Many people suffering from the disease still become easy pickings for a range of diseases that ambush a suppressed immune system. These include Tuberculosis, the resistant strains of which is a great source of worry, for sufferers, for medical practitioners and for anyone who is concerned about our future.
The traditional view is that lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart conditions, used to plague the more affluent in our society. As South Africa becomes more industrialised more South Africans are becoming accustomed to a Westernised lifestyle. Sadly, as a result, both rich and poor are now facing the health and wellness challenges that people in Western economies have been struggling with for so long.
In addition to the challenges of doing business, employers are having to find more effective ways to ensure that their workforce is healthy and motivated, and stays that way. The medical challenges that individuals face will affect the performance of the company they work for. In addition, even healthy people change jobs, making succession planning an ongoing function for any company looking to remain successful.
The health and wellness issues facing the country’s workforce are certainly changing, but so is the understanding that can help to address them. Epidemiology is a great example of how quickly what we know is improving. Although the field of epidemiology has been in development for decades, in more recent years doctors and scientists have been making large advances in the way we understand the mechanics of diseases and how they affect the human body. Epidemiology uses powerful statistical and analytical methods to understand and predict individual medical conditions, how these affect the human body together, and how the body adapts to defend itself. The continuing breakthroughs in computing power are now making it possible to analyse huge amounts of information in more useful ways than have ever been possible. Every day it is becoming more and more possible to analyse and understand certain aspects of something as complex as the human body. And this understanding will become even better as time goes on.
The Actuarial Profession
Actuaries are internationally respected for the way they use their mathematical and statistical skills to help measure the probability and risk of future events and how the potential outcomes can affect financial results. Their expertise is useful in many industries including healthcare, pensions, insurance, banking and investments, and increasingly in more unconventional areas requiring a mix of analytical and financial know-how.
Health Science Network
Health Science Network’s vision is to be a leading innovator in promoting the understanding of the financial element of workforce sustainability. Our business represents a fusion of the best of the financial and healthcare sectors. By drawing from the medical expertise in the field of epidemiology, and the robust financial analysis that actuaries are famous for, Health Science Network is focused on partnering with employers to help their workforce perform at its best. We have a passion to seek out the most advanced scientific methods and technology and to apply it in ways that have a useful, practical outcome. We focus specifically on measurable financial results to show clearly how enterprises can assist their people and create more value for their owners at the same time.
We are a proudly South African company with a desire to see better quality of life for all the people in our country. We believe that the best innovation that the world has to offer can be adapted to the context we live in so that this desire can become a reality. We are excited to be able to help employers to improve productivity by improving the quality of life of the human beings who work with them.