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South Africa’s healthcare system under the spotlight

South Africa’s healthcare system under the spotlight


Leading public health NGO – Health Systems Trust (HST) – will from 4 to 6 May 2016 host an important conference at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Boksburg, Gauteng to examine the challenges facing the healthcare system in​ South Africa. More than 300 delegates are expected to attend, representing diverse stakeholders in all tiers of the health sector. Covering all aspects of South Africa’s healthcare system, the Conference programme provides a rich offering of presentations, interactive sessions, workshops and panel discussions across four main themes: overcoming the burden of disease; strengthening service delivery and access; better policy design, implementation and practice; sustainable development post-2015.

Among several issues likely to generate lively debate is the topical subject of universal health coverage in the context of the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI), the success of which will partly depend on efficient and equitable health systems. The Conference also comes at a time of significant global shift towards achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals. Discussion of th​ese critical healthcare issues will play a key role in improving South Africa’s healthcare system and service delivery, and will contribute to the advancement of the global public health agenda.

Commenting on the rationale for the HST Conference, Dr René English, HST Director of Health Systems Research and the Head of the Conference Scientific Programme, said: “Dissemination of information is key for informing policy and for improved service delivery in our healthcare facilities. This HST Conference aims to contribute to the discourse of how better to configure the health system in order to reach the broader Sustainable Development Goals and other health-related goals by providing a platform for policymakers, academics and frontline health providers to engage and present their views, and to collectively craft feasible and appropriate evidence-informed solutions to improve health”

HST is calling on all media players to participate in this seminal forum. Whether you are interested in health reform, health policy, primary health care, public-private partnerships, health research or innovation, the Conference is a unique opportunity for journalists to gain invaluable insights and participate in improving South Africa’s health service delivery, and ultimately better health outcomes for all South Africans.

Notable speakers

The Conference will be graced by a cross-section of influential practitioners, policy-makers, academics and other prominent individuals in the healthcare arena including:

  • Dr Aaron Motsoaledi ‒ Minister of Health, South Africa
  • Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti ‒ the first woman World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa
  • Dr Sanjana Bhardwaj ‒ Chief of Health and Nutrition  the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in South Africa
  • Ms Qedani Mahlangu – MEC for Health, Gauteng Provincial Government
  • Mr Mark Heywood ‒ Executive Director of SECTION 27
  • Ms Jeanette Hunter ‒ Deputy Director-General: Primary Health Care at the National Department of Health (NDoH) of South Africa
  • Dr Faith Kumalo ‒ Chief Director: Care and Support in Schools Chief Directorate of the Department of Basic Education
  • Mr Thulani Masilela – Outcome Facilitator: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
  • Mr Rangarirai Machemedze ‒ co-ordinates the Trade and Health Programme at the Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)
  • Ms Madithapo Masemola ‒ Acting General Secretary of the Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa (DENOSA), the largest nurses’ trade union in the country with over 84 000 members
  • Dr Yogan Pillay ‒ Deputy Director-General at the South African National Department of Health
  • Prof Laetitia Rispel ‒ Head of the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Mr Shadrack Shuping ‒ Chairperson of the HST Board of Trustees and currently Chief Executive Officer of the Phambili-Dismed Group

Registration and accreditation

Registration is free for Media delegates, including access to all sessions, but a fee of R380 per delegate will be charged for attendance at the gala dinner.

Media enquiries

Judith Annakie-Eriksen, Conference Co-ordinator and Communications Manager

Telephone: +27 (0)31 266 9090              


The comprehensive conference programme can be viewed at

Watch this video for the voices of of the 300+ delegates describing their expectations of the Conference:

We look forward to seeing you at this foremost event.​​