Office of Health Standards ComplianceNon HST
Health Systems TrustHST General
South African Health Review 2016
The content of the 19th edition of the South African Health Review (2016) is divided into four sections. The first of these is Leadership and Governance. Chapter 1 describes the current legislative and policy framework guiding healthcare delivery, and Chapter 2 analyses the challenges that underpin the relatively poor performance of our health system, despite the financial resources directed towards it. Chapters 3 and 4 focus on water and food respectively. The first highlights the need for improved water and health management with greater surveillance of water quality, and the second examines the impact of a diet of highly processed and animal-origin foods with added sugar, salt and fat on the rise of non-communicable diseases in South Africa.
The next cluster of chapters examines the role of Human Resources in the public health system. Chapter 5 looks at Public Health Medicine graduates in health system development and restructuring, and Chapter 6 critiques the current approaches to managing ill-health among healthcare workers and assessing their ability to work. The role of health interpreters in developing a multilingual health service for South Africa’s culturally and linguistically diverse population is presented in Chapter 7, and the need for collaboration between biomedical and traditional health practitioners is discussed in Chapter 8.
The section on Service Delivery (Chapters 9‒16) reviews progress and impediments in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, examines the advancements that South Africa has made in promoting breastfeeding, and explains the technical infrastructure of the MomConnect programme, which has successfully generated a national register of pregnant women. Other chapters analyse congenital disorders as a cause of child mortality, the challenges of integrating existing mental health care policies and services into the health system, and the rights and health issues of South Africa’s sex workers. Trauma is underscored as a major burden of disease that constitutes approximately 25% of the emergency workload in most public health hospitals, highlighting the need for trauma prevention programmes. The final chapter in this section provides alternative methods of measuring clinical quality of care and client satisfaction.
The first of two chapters in the third section – covering financing and medical products – points to signs that although tackling the HIV 90-90-90 targets will be daunting, they are likely to be affordable and cost-effective if implemented in a phased way and if annual increments to Government AIDS budgets are sustained. The second offering in this segment discusses South Africa’s pharmaceutical pricing dynamics and related transparency issues.
Under the Information section, Chapter 19 reviews the concept of health research observatories as globally recognised, proactive institutions and describes the vision, mandate, purpose, scope and benefits of, as well as key challenges to, South Africa’s proposed National Health Research Observatory. The final chapter, that of Health and Related Indicators, offers its characteristically wide range of information, with a specific focus on the data needed to monitor non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
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