Latest News

Save the Date: Health Systems Trust Conference 2016
Health Systems Trust | 3 September 2015
Health Systems Trust (HST) is hosting a conference from 4-6 May 2016 at the Birchwood Conference Centre, Boksburg, Gauteng.  Under the banner of Strengthened health systems for sustainable development: sharing, supporting, synergising, the event is designed to advance the global public health agenda in improving health outcomes.
Pathology wage deal averts disruption
BDlive | 20 August 2015
The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) have struck a one-year wage agreement, ensuring uninterrupted diagnostic pathology services for patients.   On Monday, parties agreed to a 7% wage increase, the phasing in of new salary scales and an end to any disciplinary action related to the nearly seven months of negotiations, NHLS board chairman Barry Schoub said on Wednesday.   The agreement has ended the...
Vaccine hesitancy: A growing challenge for immunization programmes
WHO | 18 August 2015
18 AUGUST 2015 | GENEVA - People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. Globally, 1 in 5 children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations, and an estimated 1.5 million children still die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines that already exist, according to WHO.   In a special issue of the journal Vaccine, guest-edited by WHO and published...
South African Health Review 2015/16 Call for Chapters
Health Systems Trust | 18 August 2015
The South African Health Review (SAHR), published annually by Health Systems Trust (HST) for 18 years, is an accredited peer-reviewed journal that is widely respected as an authoritative source of research, analysis and reflection on health systems.   The SAHR advances knowledge agenda-setting, production and sharing.
Men equally at risk of HPV infection
Mail&Guardian | 11 August 2015
Boys should also be vaccinated for the Human Papillomavirus, which is the leading cause of cervical cancer, according to a report.   Experts argue that vaccinating boys as well as girls for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) would have a dual advantage as it would protect both men and their female partners from infection. HPV is largely transmitted through sexual contact.   According to the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, HPV is the most common...
Private healthcare sector capable of serving twice as many patients
BDlive | 29 July 2015
THE private healthcare sector could serve twice as many patients as it currently does if it provided better primary care services and admitted fewer patients to hospital, PPO Serve CEO Brian Ruff on Monday told delegates to the annual Board of Healthcare Funders conference. SA currently had approximately four private hospital beds per 1,000 insured lives, compared to developed countries which had closer to two private hospital beds per 1,000 insured lives, he said.
Basic medical aid could soon be within reach of the poor
BDlive | 29 July 2015
THE Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) could allow medical schemes to launch cheap products for low-income workers as early as next year, it emerged on Tuesday at the annual Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) conference. The CMS is a statutory body charged with regulating the medical schemes industry, while the BHF is an industry association for medical schemes and administrators. The CMS is hoping that low-cost benefit options will bring new members into the medical scheme market, which...
Private healthcare is 'wasteful'
Health-e News | 28 July 2015
Private healthcare is wasteful and over-dependent on hospitals, which makes it too expensive for a large group of working people to join medical schemes. As a result, scheme membership has stagnated at around 8,5 million people and is skewed towards older, sicker members. This was the assessment of healthcare consultant Dr Brian Ruff, speaking yesterday at the opening day of the Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF), the group that represents medical schemes and administrators. Ruff said...
Public health suffers if vaccines are not accessible
Mail&Guardian | 24 July 2015
A Western Cape project is looking to make free vaccines available in private clinics, but the Eastern Cape has stopped the practice.   Every month for 20 years, Sister Patricia Watts* vaccinated up to 500 babies at her private clinic in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth.   Her clientele, however, more closely resemble those of a public health centre.   Most of the mothers who came to her clinic didn’t drive there in their own cars or push their babies...
TAC wants free treatment for all HIV infected
Mail&Guardian | 23 July 2015
The Treatment Action Campaign believes antiretroviral treatment should be offered to all HIV-positive citizens, not just those with low CD4 counts. South Africa's largest HIV lobby group, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), is demanding that everyone infected with HIV in the country is offered antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately after their diagnosis. Currently, less than half (3.1-million) of the country's estimated 6.4-million HIV-infected citizens receive anti-HIV...
Medical aid change to benefit funders
BDlive | 20 July 2015
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has moved to end a long-running industry row over the extent to which medical schemes are liable for their members’ bills, flighting a set of proposals that appears to appease funders at the expense of patients.   Critics say the minister’s proposed amendments to Regulation 8 of the Medical Schemes Act, published for comment last Tuesday, effectively roll back consumers’ rights and leave them vulnerable to potentially catastrophic...
Fact sheet: South Africa’s HIV programme by numbers
Health-e News | 16 July 2015
A new fact sheet details the achievements of South Africa’s HIV programme, which initiated more than 600,000 people on antiretroviral treatment in 2014/15.   Distributed at the SA AIDS Conference, this one-page fact sheet summarises South Africa’s HIV programme as of 1 June 2015.   In the 2014/15 financial year: 6.3 million people in South Africa were living with HIV; About 9.6 million HIV tests were conducted; About 680,000 people were started on...