- Philips and the Ministry of Health, Zambia sign a five-year multi-million Euro contract for upgrade and maintenance of 71 hospitals nationwide.
- Philips delivers on the creation of a sustainable skills base through ongoing training and man-power development.
Lusaka, Zambia – Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today signed a five-year multi-million Euro contract with the Ministry of Health in Zambia, covering the upgrade and maintenance of equipment in 71 government hospitals nationwide. This agreement also includes the training and education of healthcare workers on advanced medical treatments using modern technologies to improve the quality of care. As a leading company in health and well-being, Philips aims to help transform the quality of healthcare in Zambia and other African countries through meaningful solutions, innovations and partnerships.
This renewed collaboration between Philips and the Ministry of Health, Zambia was announced at the kick-off of the Lusaka leg of Philips’ Cairo to Cape Town Tour, in which, from May 12 to July 20, 2010 Philips travels across Africa to raise awareness for the opportunities that new solar powered lighting and best-in-class healthcare solutions can provide in order to improve the quality of healthcare in Africa.
Building sustainable healthcare infrastructure
Philips has had a long term association in modernizing the healthcare infrastructure across the Republic of Zambia. In mid-2008, Philips completed the implementation phase of a seven-year project to modernize the healthcare infrastructure of Zambia. The program, part of the Dutch government’s ORET international development initiative, has seen substantial improvements made to 71 hospitals across the country. It has included the training of over 200 local hospital staff, creating a sustainable skills base to ensure a brighter future for the provision of healthcare in the country.
The €25 million project included the installation and maintenance of diagnostic imaging equipment including mobile X-ray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound scanners, operating theaters and dental treatment systems. Funding was provided by the Dutch and Zambian governments, each contributing 50 percent of the project’s costs.
To ensure sustainability and therefore continuation of the ORET program, Philips and the Zambian Ministry of Health, have signed a comprehensive maintenance and upgrade agreement which covers all the equipment delivered and installed under the original ORET Project.
Structurally training the healthcare skills base
Part of the new agreement signed today is training and education of healthcare workers which is another important focus area for Philips. Technology has little value without sufficiently skilled staff to operate and maintain it. Ten years back, rural hospitals in Zambia had great difficulty in attracting motivated people. Philips has recognized that human resource development was considered the most critical issue for continued sustainability of healthcare projects. The Government of Zambia has invested considerably in the training needs of the local clinical staff, including radiologists and service engineers under the ORET Project.
A major skills enhancement program was carried out in close cooperation with Fontys University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. A training centre was set-up in Lusaka and over 200 local hospital staff, including radiologists, laboratory technicians, nurses, midwives and other medical personnel have been trained. A train the trainer program was organized to provide a pool of trainers in the country. A special tele-learning site was set-up to allow Zambian course participants to talk to each other and exchange information. Philips continues facilitating in on-going training and skills enhancement.
“From the start of the ORET project in 2002 we have worked closely with Philips to modernize the healthcare infrastructure across Zambia,” said Hon. Kapembwa Simbao Minister of Health, Republic of Zambia. “It is no longer necessary for Zambians in any district to have to be carried long distances to Lusaka or the Copper Belt in order to get X-ray or diagnostic attention. Philips has proved to be a strategic partner making a tangible and valuable impact on the quality and availability of healthcare in Zambia. They have built on existing infrastructure and trained the local people to make healthcare access sustainable. This approach to supporting our efforts is in line with the vision of the Ministry of Health to provide equity of access to affordable, cost-effective and quality health services to the Zambian people as close to their families as possible. We believe that this renewed collaboration with Philips will enhance opportunities and improve the quality of care in our country”.
Bringing quality healthcare closer
“From our early discussions in 1998, followed by the start of the ORET project implementation in 2002, to the signing of an additional five-year healthcare contract today, we have always sought to lay the foundations of a structural improvement in the healthcare delivery system across Zambia”, said JJ van Dongen, Senior Director and General Manager, Philips Healthcare – Africa & Country Manager – Philips South Africa.
“Supplying and maintaining medical technology in 71 key hospitals across the country is and remains a managerial and logistical challenge; it requires long-term commitment and comprehensive project management capabilities. Philips has invested in building on existing infrastructure and training local people to make the project sustainable. We are delighted that the Government of Zambia has decided to extend their collaboration with us. Philips Healthcare’s vision is to improve people’s lives through meaningful solutions designed around the needs of care providers and patients. We will do everything we can to ensure that health services are available and accessible across the country. The benefits of this collaboration will continue to be realized for many years to come”, added Mr JJ van Dongen.
The Philips-ORET collaboration in Zambia is one of a number of projects included in the ORET international development initiative and part-funded by Dutch development aid.
For further information please follow us live on: www.philips.com/africaroadshow