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Health Systems Trust launches its 21st edition of the South African Health Review

​​Leading non-governmental organisation, Health Systems Trust, launched its 21st edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR) on Wednesday 12 December 2018.  Released to coincide with the anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Health Coverage Day, the SAHR focuses on human resources for health and universal health coverage.

"This year's edition of the SAHR is particularly timely, with its focus on human resources for health and related innovative and practical solutions to support sustainable progress towards achieving universal health coverage; essential for future health service success," said Dr Themba Moeti, CEO of HST.

Commenting on the release of the 2018 edition, Managing Editor of the SAHR, Ashnie Padarath said:

"One of the critical factors impacting on South Africa's successful journey towards universal health coverage will depend on ensuring that we have the right mix of skills and distribution of health care workers and that there is congruence between training output and the absorptive capacity of the health system." 

Key messages emanating out of this edition of the SAHR are that while around R12 billion is spent annually on health sciences education, the training of healthcare workers in South Africa is an economic investment which can have recurring benefits; and that while community service has been an effective strategy for recruiting professional staff to rural and underserved health facilities complementary longer-term human resource interventions are required in order to retain them.  

Commenting on her involvement in the SAHR 2018, guest editor Professor Laetitia Rispel had this to say:  "the common thread that runs through the publication is the importance of quality and accurate information; strong government stewardship and leadership; and public accountability to improve population health, strengthen institutional capacity and to enforce enabling legislation."


In addition to offering perspectives on human resources for health and universal health coverage, the SAHR also provides commentary on:
  • the impact of the environment on our food choices;
  • how we contextualise the Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project within a broader mental health context in South Africa; 
  • how South Africa's national health research system measures up against the rest of Africa and the world;
  • measuring our level of progress in catering for the most vulnerable populations; and
  • the specific challenge of skills attraction and retention in rural areas.

To download the South African Health Review 2018 go to: ​

Media queries:

Judith Annakie            ​

                                                031 266 9090 (office)

                                                082 782 1276 (mobile)


Antoinette Stafford Cloete 

                                                011 312 4523 (office)

                                                083 507 2941 (mobile)                        ​​​



About Health Systems Trust​

Health Systems Trust (HST) is an innovative non-profit organisation working to strengthen ongoing development of comprehensive health systems in southern Africa. Using a primary health care approach, we specialise in conducting health research, providing technical support, and information dissemination. Our strategies are designed to promote equity and efficiency in health and healthcare delivery.   ​