Health policy

Is democracy good for people's health? A South African perspective

On 7 April 1994, the new South African government inherited 14 independent health departments: one for each of the 10 black homelands one each for the white, brown (mixed descent) and Asian communities and one for black Africans living and working in so called white South Africa. Has the health of the people improved in the decade since democracy? Not according to the health indicators, such as maternal, infant, and perinatal mortality child nutrition tuberculosis prevalence and life expectancy.

World Report on Knowledge for Better Health

Published by: 
World Health Organization
The Report focuses on bridging of the know do gap, the gulf between what we know and what we do in practice, between scientific potential and health realization. The bridging of this gap is central to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The gap exists for each of the MDGs and represents a fundamental and pragmatic knowledge translation challenge that must be addressed to strengthen health systems performance towards achieving the MDGs. The Report will expound the message that we must turn scientific knowledge into actions, which improves peoples health, and that health improvement through knowledge applications is a critical factor in human development and alleviation of ill-health and poverty worldwide. The Report will be highlighted at the World Ministerial Summit on Health Research in Mexico (November 16-20, 2004).

Health Care in Eastern Cape - Implications for planning

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust
The report is intended for health managers in the Eastern Cape Province managers at Provincial level but especially for Regional managers as the information is set out in a format which defines and compares the resources and services of the five regions. The information was obtained from ReHMIS (Regional Health Management Information System) by the Eastern Cape ReHMIS team and some additional sources were also used. Data was collected from all public (provincial and local authority) health facilities using national definitions. Maps and tables of population distribution are provided. These assist in defining the problems of reorientation from the previous administration (of South Africa and two so-called independent states Transkei and Ciskei) to a unified, integrated, decentralised, equitable health service based on Primary Health Care, and the health priorities of the Reconstruction and Development Programme.


Local government is in the midst of fundamental change and restructuring. Long before this process is completed a large chunk of provincial health services and personnel will be grafted on to the newly formed local authorities. Over 50 000 health workers will be transferred from the provincial public service to local authority staff. Overall, local authority health budgets will increase more than five fold and there will be an injection of around R5 billion for health services into local government revenue. Local government will be responsible for the running of all primary level services including 24-hour emergency services and level 1 hospitals.

Strengthening Health Systems: The Role and Promise of Policy and Systems Research

The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, an initiative of the Global Forum for Health Research in collaboration with the World Health Organization, has published its first biennial review of the emerging field of health policy and systems research.

Treasury calls for rethink on health funding

Primary care facilities in cities do not need provincial middleman National treasury has asked health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's department to reconsider its plans for funding primary healthcare in SA's six metro areas, saying the planned shift in responsibility for this level of care from local to provincial government is risky and may prove too expensive.

UK must stop draining health care workers from Africa, says minister

The British government is to tighten regulations on employment of health care workers from developing countries in order to stop draining key staff from nations hard hit by AIDS, Health Minister John Hutton announced this week during a visit to South Africa.

Swaziland: Rural health motivators could ease professional shortage

A critical shortage of health professionals in Swaziland is undermining the public health system's capacity to expand its national antiretroviral (ARV) programme, health officials have warned.