Healthcare capacity requires trained teams working together with the right equipment to provide the best chance of successful treatment.

This includes having enough healthcare facilities (such as hospitals and clinics) and trained healthcare professionals in place, with the right equipment, working efficiently. It also means having an infrastructure in place to allow people to easily reach healthcare facilities (e.g. via public transport).

Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, there is a lack of adequate healthcare capacity, limiting access to care. Many countries in Africa, in particular, face a lot of challenges, with extreme shortages of facilities, diagnostics and trained healthcare professionals. Many people in Africa frequently travel many miles – sometimes by foot – to the closest hospital, only to be turned away because there are no specialists available. 

Lack of healthcare capacity is a problem in regions all over the world, and goes beyond the initial diagnosis and treatment. For example, with chronic (long-term) illnesses such as diabetes and heart failure, having ongoing access to healthcare professionals is vital to stay in control of the disease. But for many people, this is simply not available.

What causes a lack of healthcare capacity?

A lack of available funding is the predominant reason for issues with healthcare capacity, inevitably leading to gaps in care.

For example, the current healthcare workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa would need to be scaled up by as much as 140% to meet existing need.

What are we doing?

To help overcome these barriers, we have established a number of programmes aimed at making lasting improvement in local capabilities.

These range from educating and training healthcare professionals and regulatory personnel, to helping establish clinics and laboratories and strengthening local manufacturing capabilities and supply chains.

Our focus is on increasing local resources, as we believe this provides the most sustainable way of addressing local health needs and helping develop healthcare systems for the future.

We use our expertise in various disease and product areas to support programmes that improve healthcare workers’ knowledge. We focus on increasing understanding in areas such as disease pathways, treatment options and their appropriate use, product safety and general healthcare.

 

Explore some of our projects worldwide!

Tags: Society, Patients, Access to healthcare