The next step in the introduction of National Health Insurance will be to ‘operationalise’ the presidential health compact, the recommendations of the 2018 SA Lancet Commission report, the Competition Commission’s health market inquiry and Office of Health Standards findings, said Health Minister Zweli Mkhize in his address to delegates at an International Society for Quality Healthcare conference in Cape Town, reports Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch. ‘No healthcare system can survive without continuous quality improvement and feedback loops’, the Minister said – emphasising the importance of ‘effective systems’ in providing ‘people-centred’, safe, high-quality care ‘across all levels’ of the country’s health system. To that end, a ‘standardised approach’ will be adopted to enable the ‘systematic’ measurement, monitoring and ‘integration’ of ‘various’ initiatives countrywide focusing on ‘quality planning’, ‘quality assurance’ and ‘quality improvement’.
The South African Lancet commission was launched in May 2017 to assess the quality of the country’s healthcare in the context of international sustainable development goals. According to Mkhize, ‘overarching recommendations’ emerging from its findings included the need for ‘enhanced’ governance and leadership and ‘transformed’ human resources.
These fundamental imperatives also feature in the presidential health compact’s nine ‘action-driven pillars’ – in turn informed by a report on discussions during last year’s presidential health summit.
The Minister summarised the compact’s other pillars as ‘access to essential medicines, vaccines, and medical products’; implementing the healthcare ‘infrastructure plan’; ‘developing an information system’; strengthening ‘accountability mechanisms’; ‘engaging and empowering the community’; and ‘engaging the private sector’. This is noting that, in government’s view, ‘quality should not be the purview of the elite or an aspiration for some distant future’.
[link url="https://legalbrief.co.za/diary/legalbrief-today/policy-watch/health-quality-improvement-prioritised/#redirect"]Legalbrief Policywatch report[/link]