South Africa is at a critical juncture with regards to financing the health sector to improve health and to deliver quality health services to all. This paper provides a personal view of some of the key next steps the country will need to consider as it moves forward with its changes to health financing. The commentary draws on experience from other countries as well as South Africa and focuses on some of early challenges that may need to be considered.
A one-week program designed to enhance the leadership and management skills of program managers and leaders of sub-Saharan African organizations that are devoted to delivering health care services to under-served populations.
Inequality is apparent throughout our health system and our society, to a greater degree than is found in many other societies. Inequality is also apparent in the quality of the care we provide and these differences again reinforce further differences in that care. This paper focuses on two specific aspects of quality care which are often not given much attention: care that is acceptable to patients and meets their expectations, and safe care that does not harm. Furthermore, the paper will discuss how the proposed “Office of Health Standards Compliance” (a regulator of quality) could impact this.
From recent pronouncements made by the Department of Health (DOH) it would appear that the DOH has recently discovered primary health care (PHC), or at worst recently re-discovered PHC. The work to strengthen PHC builds on the good practices that existed in the past but also provides greater focus as well as greater political support for PHC.A three stream priority approach to re-engineering of PHC was adapted. These three streams are: Deployment of ward based PHC outreach teams; Strengthening school health services; and Deployment of district based clinical specialist teams. The latest development on the PHC re-engineering projects are presented here.
To achieve the goal of a long and healthy life for all South Africans the health system must be overhauled to produce better health outcomes. The National Health Council has given clear direction to the health system around primary health care (PHC) re-engineering, and the associated three streams. These three streams, which will be discussed in this article, are a ward based PHC outreach team for each electoral ward; strengthening school health services; and district based clinical specialist teams with an initial focus on improving maternal and child health. All stakeholders will have to work in partnership and unison to achieve these results.
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