On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it gives me great pleasure to present the 2020 edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR). Under the theme ‘Access to health care for persons with disabilities in South Africa’, this 23rd edition provides critical insight into barriers and facilitators, good practices, and successful service-delivery models for disability inclusion and rehabilitation.
Producing this edition of the SAHR was a collaboration between the Health Systems Trust and Inclusive Practices Africa, a research group in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Cape Town, which focuses on eradicating barriers to inclusion for persons with disabilities.
Chapters in the Review provide information on the multitude of challenges associated with
providing a seamless continuum of appropriate and adequate care for persons with disabilities in
the public health sector. These challenges include human resource constraints, fragmented and
under-resourced rehabilitation services, lack of appropriate assistive devices, and the adoption
of an overwhelmingly medicalised approach to disability, all of which translate to poor availability,
affordability and access to health services for persons living with disabilities. This results in many persons with disabilities being denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Collectively, the 2020 edition represents an evidence base that can be used to strengthen health services and inform future policy development in disability inclusion and rehabilitation in South Africa.
A strong group within the Health Systems Trust, supported by a cadre of highly regarded peer reviewers and authors, have worked through the year to bring the Review to completion. On behalf of the Board, I extend deep appreciation to all HST staff involv ed in producing the Review, as well as to the authors and peer reviewers, and the SAHR Editorial Advisory Committee members who provide oversight and direction to the editorial team.
The collective input of internal and external peer reviewers, and the willingness of authors to accommodate collegial feedback and editorial comment, have strengthened the publication. We feel confident that the 2020 SAHR will serve as a key resource and departure point in advancing access to health care and services for persons with disabilities in this country.
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