As in other countries, South Africa’s healthcare system comprises a network of health facilities providing primary health care, supported by several higher levels of care. Information on individual facilities allows analysis and reflection on how the country’s health services inputs meet the population’s needs in terms of the type, quantity and quality of the services. This information is essential to identify health system strengths and gaps, to assess current and future needs and for planning investments and future services such as the National Health Insurance.
This is the first issue of the DHS News for 2012! Much has happened during the first 4 months of this year. To begin, the Minister of Health made the much-anticipated announcement of the names of the first 10 NHI pilot districts! The Minister has already commenced with road shows in these pilot districts to inform stakeholders of plans to strengthen the coverage and quality of care in these areas over the next 5 years. He also asked for inputs from stakeholders on their views of what needs to be done in addition to the planned activities. It is critical for district management teams to be fully involved with the creation of the plan.