The oral and poster presentations prize winners share their experiences of the PHASA conference.
On the 6 September 2012, the DPH-SIG had a meeting at the conference and here they present the outcomes.
During the Annual General Meeting at the conference new members of the executive committee of PHASA were elected and here they present themselves.
Why does South Africa perform badly in health when compared to other African countries, despite good policies, adequate amounts of money and more skilled workers? One of the reasons is that there are many examples of policies and programmes that aim for an unrealistic gold standard (with its unnecessary and unhelpful complexity) and which, as a result, undermine the provision of good healthcare to as large a population as possible, e.g. the new Road to Health Booklet and the District Health Information System. Many people balk at the idea of not aiming for a “gold standard” at a policy level. In this article the author argues that it might be better to aim for a “silver standard”.
There is emerging evidence that the public health sector is struggling to provide effective, efficient and equitable rehabilitation services, and this requires due attention to be paid to understanding what these capacity constraints are from a provider perspective. What is being witnessed is a conflict between strategic policies and operational structures, resulting in a widening gap between policy and practice. There are four key agencies that play a role in setting up rules guiding the delivery of rehabilitation services: Department of Health; Health Professions Council of South Africa; Department of Public Service Administration; and Tertiary training institutions. An analysis of the functioning of these four key institutions in the delivery of rehabilitation services is presented here to provide evidence of the constraining environment within which policies are required to be implemented.
The Lancet has declared that the changing climate and its impact on health is the most serious health threat of the 21st century. By placing health on the climate change agenda, we, as public health professionals, have the opportunity of focusing the climate challenge on human impacts as compared to the other broader environmental impacts that have dominated the agenda to date. According to the best available science, the impact of climate on the global population is likely to develop to catastrophic proportions over the next 4-5 decades. Addressing risks that our children and their children will face can no longer be left to the politicians or international agencies. If we are to address global population health, it must become the task of health professionals to provide the lead.
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