“To usher in universal healthcare, we’ll have to do more than just talk health” — Dion Mhlaba CA(SA)
Every year in April, people across the world commemorate global Health Awareness Month. This World Health Day, under the hashtag #HealthForAll, The World Health Organisation has called on world leaders to live up to their pledges and commit to concrete steps to advancing universal healthcare. RH Bophelo resonates with the WHO’s iteration that gaps in the healthcare sector are a huge factor in the lack of advancement for universal healthcare. In fact, without the implementation of quality, affordable healthcare, it is near impossible for the world to attain SDG1 — the common global goal of ending poverty.
During this World Health Month, RH Bophelo is reinforcing the urgent need for practical intervention to healthcare; one that involves ‘concrete financial investment’ from both the investor and the ordinary South African.
World Healthcare overview
The statistics are evident; according to the WHO’s Global Monitoring Report, last year alone, half of the world’s population lacked access to affordable quality healthcare. Over a billion people lived with uncontrolled hypertension, while more than 200 million women had no adequate access to family planning, and a further 20 million infants could not access three vital immunisations. Such a reality is more than alarming; it hampers our global commitment to the sustainable development goals (SGSD) of achieving universal healthcare by 2030.
The South African healthcare overview
In South Africa, despite decent progress, we’re still a long way to establishing universal healthcare. Our government has made the crucial step of enshrining the right to healthcare in its Constitution. It has also published a guide report on achieving universal healthcare coverage through the establishment of the National Health Insurance (NHI) — an initiative which aims to provide access of private healthcare facilities to the medically uninsured. However, the South African healthcare sector is still dominated by the private sector which provides health care for 20% of the population and accounts for half of the total health care spending.
Last year, RH Bophelo saw this move as a great opportunity and set out to invest in the healthcare infrastructure as a way to meet this anticipated increase-in-demand for healthcare facilities.
The need for public investment
However, acquiring healthcare assets to meet such demands has proven to require more than just ‘will’.
“Universal healthcare needs bold investors who are willing to put their bets on health. For greater returns.” — Quinton Zunga
RH Bophelo remains adamant that public investment is a critical key to providing affordable quality healthcare. In May 2017, the company became the first black-owned healthcare SPAC to list on the JSE; it opened doors for the public to take part in bringing affordable quality healthcare to the masses. By investing in RHB shares on the JSE, the public could indirectly help RH Bophelo raise the necessary capital to acquire commercially viable operating assets, consolidate fragmented players, and eventually provide quality affordable healthcare to the vast majority of previously disadvantaged communities.
RH Bophelo has made impressive progress in that regard. The company has recently acquired four hospitals and is looking to invest in more assets in the coming months. With its share price still in its early days, there has never been a better time for the public to invest in healthcare, and yield substantial returns.
How you can do more for health
In conclusion, World Health Month provides a needed platform to discuss matters concerning universal healthcare. However, if we are to do more for health, we would need to put our money where our mouth is and invest in platforms that can usher in transformation for the healthcare sector.
Perhaps the greatest challenge is not how we can best establish universal healthcare, but how we can best attract investors and mobilise the public to pitch in. Healthcare is the cornerstone of true wealth, and our contribution to this sector is made possible when everyone invests.
This World Health Month, do more than just talk health. Invest in health. Invest in RH Bophelo.
Health is Wealth.