Three hundred health activists and practitioners will be taking part in the National Health Assembly (NHA), which begins tomorrow at the University of the Western Cape.
The themes for the NHA are: the rationale for the National Health Insurance and financing of health care; the social determinants of health; building a comprehensive and equitable health system. Workshops will be dedicated to each theme and the outcomes of the workshops will be consolidated into a strategic document with action plans.
Prof Louis Reynolds, from the Public Health Movement - South Africa, said: “Both the private and public health sectors are in crisis and essentially unsustainable, and current government initiatives to transform health care delivery are to be welcomed.”
“Meaningful community and citizen participation in both these processes are essential for success. Both are fundamental pillars of primary health care and will be addressed extensively by participants at the NHA.”
The NHA will bring together government representatives, community organisations, trade unions, social networks, individuals and community health workers with health activists, civil society organisations, academics and health professionals from across Africa and the world.
It will also prepare delegates for the People’s Health Assembly that follows on July 6, which is expected to be attended by about 1500 participants from more than 90 countries.
Professor Emeritus David Sanders, from UWC, said that the university’s School of Public Health is a leader in public health research and a World Health Organisation (WHO) collaborative centre for research and training in human resources for health development.