The Institute - Inspired by a crisis
The largest analysis of global health trends from 1990 to 2013 found that only 4% of the global population experienced no health problems in 2013 while a third, or 2.3 billion people, were burdened with more than five health problems each. This Global Burden of Disease study published in the prestigious medical journal, the Lancet recently showed beyond any doubt that the world’s population is getting sicker.
There are many aspects to this global health crisis and a key factor in its perpetuation is the current Disease Management Model of allopathic medicine. Sadly, this model has been completely ineffective in solving the crisis. In fact it is an inherent part of the problem! Two aspects of the crisis stand out in particular viz. costs or affordability of healthcare and chronic diseases. Costs are completely out of control and many people are no longer able to afford healthcare at all. In fact the situation is so extreme that according to the World Health Organization “100 million people a year are pushed into poverty by their medical bills”! This is a tragic situation and it would be prudent to pay close attention to the words of Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, who said ‘No one in need of health care should have to risk financial ruin as a result.’
In South Africa Hospitalization Costs have been blamed for driving this country’s healthcare inflation. According to the Council for Medical Schemes' (CMS) 2013 report, Total Medical Scheme Expenditure was R112.5 billion with total hospital costs amounting to R39.7 billion of this amount (the lion’s share was paid to private hospitals) while specialists claimed R27.5 billion. While the private sector covers about 8 million people (16% of the population) about 42 million people (84% of the population) rely on the public healthcare sector for their healthcare needs. The bulk of the public health funding comes from South Africa's National Treasury which allocated R121-billion for this purpose in 2012/2013. Given this ridiculous situation it is not surprising then that the Minister of Health has said that ‘Prices in private health care are abnormal and unacceptable.’
Regarding chronic diseases we face the sad and tragic reality of a worsening pandemic despite the fact that most of them are preventable and even reversible and curable. These include, amongst others, diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, mental health conditions, asthma, obesity and cancer. According to a statistically-shocking report published by the Chronic Diseases Initiative in Africa and the Burden of Disease Research Unit South Africans are getting unhealthier. They are fatter, less active, and at greater risk than ever for chronic diseases and also dying slowly from them. And a similar situation exists in many other parts of the world. The situation is so grave that it is projected that by 2020 the number of deaths from chronic diseases worldwide will total more than fifty million.
Another crisis Inspires a value-backed currency
Dr. Faiez Kirsten
Hello and welcome to the Institute's website. Thank you for visiting. I qualified as an allopathic doctor more than three decades ago at the University of Natal's medical school and have been actively engaged in research for most of the past two-and-a-half decades. The formation of the Institute was borne out of this research spanning several areas including leadership and organizational culture, the subconscious mind, stress elimination and optimal health and wellness among others. It all started with an ‘interesting’ and eye-opening corporate and consequent legal experience which generated several questions in my mind and set me off on an amazing learning and very rewarding research journey. On embarking on this unintended journey I had no idea that several books, programs, websites and even a television appearance would materialize! In fact along the way I actually became an accidental webmaster and an internet marketer too! The idea of writing a book about the experience though first sprang to mind not too long after the search for the answers to those initial questions began. Having not written nor published a book previously, I initially wondered what this would be like. However having completed a thesis on organizational culture I felt I could do it. And so my first book (which actually turned out to be a book about corporate culture in general with fictional characters and not the intended one about my real-life experience) was published in 2005. I initially entitled it ‘Not As Soft As You Think – What You Should Know About Organizational Culture’ then changed it to 'Corporate Culture is Not as Soft as You Think.' Now being a medical doctor and having been at the coal-face of the health crisis, at least in South Africa, since my days as a medical student, I always wondered why those tasked with solving this tragic situation locally in this country and also around the world, including the medical profession, seemed completely incapable of doing so, especially given the countless and unnecessary pre-mature deaths resulting from it. In fact the thing that struck me as a medical student when I first walked into the teaching hospital was the many, many sick people in it. So many in fact that patients had to lie in beds on the floor! In any case although I did not have the depth of insight into the crisis during my early years as a doctor and prior to my research journey, I knew something had to be done, at least at the level of (private) primary healthcare delivery at which I was involved. And it was an attempt at doing this ‘something’ that I left my well-established medical practice to join the corporation. And the rest is history as the saying goes.
However it is not only the dysfunctional healthcare systems resulting in the global health crisis which is of interest to me but also the dysfunctional debt-based global financial system. This diabolical system is designed to keep both individuals and countries alike perpetually indebted to their apparent creditors. This results of course not only in financial disempowerment and impoverishment but in no small way itself also contributes to the global health crisis.
Given the precarious and disempowered state that most find themselves in specifically from a health and financial perspective thanks to the ineffective systems they are required to live their lives by, I have created the Health, Wellness Performance Institute as a contribution to the solution to this problem. I hope you will join us as we take back our power in a system controlled by diabolical minds.