In April 2017, Pope Francis gave an address to a group gathered in Vancouver for a TED conference on the theme ‘The Future You’, from his home in the Vatican City.
Speaking as part of a session that focused on Health, Life and Love, he contemplated what the future might look like for humanity.
He reminded us that “the future is made of ‘yous’, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others”.
This view of the future is what inspires us at St John of God Health Care. It has long been our view that in healthcare, every encounter matters.
This is important because healthcare is becoming increasingly complex and the rate of change is rapid.
Breakthroughs in science and technology, and the ability to analyse vast tracts of data in epidemiological studies, mean healthcare providers can alleviate suffering and provide healing in ways previously not possible.
Technology enables us to do things that were once unthinkable – provide a diagnosis via telemedicine to someone hundreds of miles away from their caregiver; undertake precision surgery; use artificial intelligence to assist in diagnosis or simply be more efficient in information-sharing, record- keeping and patient or doctor communication.
These advancements are exciting and for many people they provide hope where once there was none.
They provide us with challenges and opportunities as a healthcare provider. The increasing complexity in delivering high quality care means that we have to be at the leading edge of technology. We need to be transformational and innovative in how we use our resources so that we can invest in the future and play a leading role in the research and development that is necessary for a top quality provider in today’s Australia.
This is why the theme of this year’s Annual Report is For tomorrow, today.
It provides an update on what was achieved in the 2017 financial year, but reflects a forward looking focus and a recognition that the future depends on what we do now.
As a Catholic provider, our focus is people-centred and our goal is to use technology and innovation to help us continue our work of compassionate care. As we contemplate the future, we can see it providing greater opportunities for us to help support the needs of those seeking our care and support.
As Pope Francis said while speaking to his audience in Vancouver:
“the future does have a name and its name is Hope.”