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South African Health Review 2013

​​​​​​​​​​​​​It gives me great pleasure to introduce the 16th edition of the South African Health Review (SAHR). This year’s edition provides information on selected issues that are relevant to the six building blocks of health systems strengthening, the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement​​ ​and primary health care re-engineering.​

A range of experts provide commentary on topics such as social determinants of health, non-communicable diseases, climate change and occupational health. The Review also contains a section on core health issues where recent developments in health information, medicines selection and pricing and health legislation and policy are discussed.

The Review is aimed at policy makers, planners, health managers, researchers, students and local and international health and development organisations. Feedback from delegates attending Health Systems Trust’s 20 year anniversary celebration reaffirmed the value of the Review both nationally and internationally and we are grateful for the various ways in which the public health community support the production of the Review. In recognition of the need to build the public health capacity and expertise within the health arena and as part of HST’s 20 year celebrations, we have initiated the Emerging Public Health Practitioner Award in recognition of the best article submitted by a young and emerging public health professional for inclusion in the South African Health Review (SAHR). Two entries are included in this edition.

A strong team within the HST has worked throughout the year to bring the Review to completion with support from a cadre of highly regarded peer reviewers and authors. On behalf of the Board I wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to all HST staff that have been involved in the production of the Review and to the authors, peer reviewers and the SAHR Editorial Advisory Committee who provided 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 has strengthened the Review and ensured that a diverse range of thoughts and views are represented in the publication.

We also extend our gratitude to the National Department of Health for supporting the production of this Review.

We trust that you will find this Review a worthy contribution to building health systems in South Africa.