A presidential health compact signed in July by government and its social partners but only recently made electronically available is expected to go some way towards preparing South Africa’s public and private healthcare sectors for the phased introduction of national health insurance. According to a message from President Cyril Ramaphosa in the compact’s preamble, it commits stakeholders to achieving specific outcomes within a five-year time-frame – spelled out in “a detailed action plan” for each of the key interventions identified during last year’s summit, notes Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch.
These interventions have been grouped under nine focus areas: augmenting existing human resources and improving the way they are distributed; “improving supply chain management” and access to essential medicines, equipment and supplies; implementing “the health infrastructure plan”; “increasing efficiency’ in public healthcare ‘financial management”; “strengthening governance and leadership to ensure accountability”; developing national health information systems to guide policies, strategies and investment; improving the quality and safety of South Africa’s entire health system, along with the number of facilities available (prioritising primary health care); “engaging the private sector” on improving healthcare service access, coverage and quality; and “community-based care”.
Organisations listed in the document as having contributed to developing the compact include a raft of associations, societies, groups and fora representing health professionals, “allied health professions”, traditional health practitioners and healthcare users; public health entities; academic and research institutions; science councils; “statutory councils”; public health entities; and a cross section of government departments. Civil society organisations also feature in the list, along with three labour organisations and Business Unity SA.Legalbrief Policy Watch report