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South Africa’s healthcare future depends on nursing investment

Elevating healthcare begins with investing in nurses. Dive into Life Healthcare Group's commitment to shaping a healthier South Africa with CEO Peter Wharton-Hood at the helm.

Radisson Red Hotel in Rosebank hosted an event that was held in commemoration of World Nurses Week, spanning from May 6 to May 12.

As nurses worldwide were celebrated for their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in healthcare, Life Healthcare Group, led by CEO Peter Wharton-Hood, took centre stage in supporting the vital role of nursing in shaping South Africa’s healthcare future.

Wharton-Hood has stressed the importance of investing in nursing in South Africa due to the growing demand for better healthcare and the challenges faced by the country’s healthcare system.

There is a persistent shortage of nurses around the world, including in South Africa. The World Health Organisation has warned about predicted shortages and unequal distribution of nurses. To tackle this, at least six million new nursing jobs need to be created by 2030 with collaborative efforts from the public and private sectors.

According to Wharton-Hood, strengthening the nursing workforce is crucial for achieving health-related sustainable development goals (SDG) and improving population health. He suggests a partnership between the government and private entities, emphasising that investing in nursing is about healthcare and driving economic growth and sustainable development.

Life Healthcare Group is prominent in South Africa’s private healthcare sector. It has over 26 years of experience in training nurses and is addressing the shortage of nurses in the country through nursing colleges and learning centres. However, the group still faces challenges in expanding training programmes for postgraduate specialisation.

Life Healthcare is committed to investing in its nurses despite the challenges. Chief nurse officer Merle Victor emphasises the multiple career paths available in nursing, including specialisation, management, and education, with continuous education and professional development being essential for specialist nurse roles in critical care and emergency units.

“Nursing is not just a job; it’s a respected profession,” Victor emphasises. “By nurturing young nurse leaders and offering career pathway programmes, we are investing in the future of healthcare in South Africa.

“Investing in nursing is crucial as South Africa transitions to the National Health Insurance policy. By addressing shortages, enhancing education and fostering collaboration, we can deliver quality healthcare to all citizens.”

Life Healthcare Group’s investment in nursing sets a precedent for the industry and reflects the company’s commitment to improving healthcare outcomes in South Africa. Investing in nursing is not just a strategic imperative but a moral one for the well-being of all South Africans. As World Nurses Day is approaching on May 12, this initiative becomes even more significant in acknowledging the invaluable contributions of nurses to healthcare worldwide.

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