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Press Release: South African Health Review 2019


Leading non-governmental organisation, Health Systems Trust, releases its 22nd edition of the eagerly awaited South African Health Review (SAHR) on Monday 27 January 2020.

  • What are some of the challenges and potential solutions to National Health Insurance (NHI) from a financing perspective?
  • How is the list of conditions and services that will be purchased by the NHI Fund from public and private providers across the country being developed?
  • Have we made sufficient progress in the provision of quality health care over the last 25 years of democracy?
  • What are the implications of some of the findings of the Health Market Inquiry on the second phase of NHI implementation?
  • What information will the country need to assess whether we are making progress towards universal health coverage through NHI and how will we measure it?
These are some of the issues addressed by Health Systems Trust’s latest edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR) which “presents a unique collection of perspectives on the key challenges in implementing NHI and universal health coverage (UHC) in South Africa”, said CEO and co-editor of the SAHR 2019, Dr Themba Moeti.

Moeti indicated that the organisation was “especially pleased to present information on the calculation of a UHC service delivery index and the application of the index to South Africa, over a period of time and disaggregated to provincial and district level”.

“While some chapters describe the fundamental changes and practical considerations required to reconfigure the country’s health system, others reflect on specific programmatic areas and on how the right interventions at key stages of life, from pre-conception through pregnancy, the new-born phase and early childhood, to adolescence, adulthood and ageing, can impact on health and well-being and affect one’s life trajectory,” commented Ashnie Padarath, Managing Editor of the SAHR.

“This edition of the SAHR provides a timely analysis of key issues debated in various fora over the past year. Some chapters cast new perspectives on persistent challenges such as the barriers to HIV testing and treatment in men and HIV prevention in high-risk adolescent girls and young women, while others reflect on how best to cater for the health needs of a rapidly ageing population, the vulnerabilities of preterm birth infants and the importance of early childhood development, particularly in the first 1 000 days of a child’s life” noted Padarath.

Commenting on its release, Chairperson of Health Systems Trust’s Board of Trustees, Dr Flavia Senkubuge said that this 22nd edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR) was offered in memory of Health Systems Trust board member, and health activist extraordinaire, Professor David Sanders who passed away in 2019.​

Senkubuge also added that in keeping with the organisation’s commitment to strengthen public health capacity and expertise within the health arena, the 2019 edition featured the work of the first recipient of HST’s Healthcare Workers’ Writing Programme, which offers writing skills training and ongoing coaching throughout the publication process for identified first-time authors.

“It is our hope that this edition will inspire further frank debate, analysis, research and innovation to guide the country on its ambitious journey towards universal access to a quality health system and services” concluded Moeti.

Electronic copies of the SAHR can be downloaded at:


​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.