Nilesh Patel

Dr. Nilesh Patel

Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School
Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program Fellow
Nilesh Patel Profile Picture

Nilesh has proven expertise and experience in efficient and effective healthcare service delivery.  He has spent two decades developing and managing value-based healthcare services within the South African public and private healthcare sectors.


He started his career investigating and restructuring tertiary/academic hospital-based stroke services and conducted a controlled clinical trial of stroke unit care versus general ward care for patients with acute stroke.  The outcomes of this work led to the establishment of the first acute stroke unit in South Africa at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town.


He later developed the first value-based (outcomes-based) acute rehabilitation unit in the private sector at the Life Brenthurst Clinic, Johannesburg, after which he joined Life Healthcare to lead the development of a network of acute rehabilitation and mental health units within the private healthcare group.


Nilesh spent two years as MD of Life Esidimeni, the largest public-private sector partnership in South African, managing community-based acute district hospitals, chronic mental health facilities and frail care units. 


He spent most of the past 10 years in an executive general management role at Life Healthcare, where he was responsible for several strategic support and business units including acute rehabilitation, acute mental health, renal dialysis, occupational health, employee wellness, chronic mental health and frail care as well as clinical governance and quality.


He is currently Group Chief Medical Officer at Lenmed Health, the largest independent private hospital group in South Africa, where he is responsible for clinical governance, quality, nursing, pharmacy and human resource management.


Nilesh plans to use the insights and perspective gained from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School to develop, strengthen and entrench systems and processes that drive effective, efficient and affordable healthcare thereby increasing access and sustainability in the private sector.


Nilesh is married to Chaya and they have two wonderful daughters, Sita and Naina, who all live in Johannesburg.