This article, titled Building the next 20 years of healthcare delivery on a solid foundation of health system strengthening, is the first in a series of articles which examine the building blocks of a healthcare system that needs to be enabled to implement sustainable healthcare programmes and interventions.
Building the next 20 years of healthcare delivery on a solid foundation of health system strengthening
The demand placed on the South African Healthcare System between 1994 and 2014 has resulted in a series of reforms aimed at addressing South Africa’s healthcare needs. These reforms took place at a time when our HIV and AIDS problem was growing fast and when there was limited access to healthcare, which resulted in the creation or reform of deep capabilities where they were desperately needed, such as Central Medical Stores, National Health Laboratory Services, HIV clinics and district structures.
The unfortunate consequence of this process is the creation of a system of vertical structures that have limited integrated service delivery, which today is a priority for the Ministry of Health. Health system strengthening has been the foundation on which many countries have been tasked to build their healthcare system. It’s not that the framework is misleading or too complicated; the challenge lies in how to make it actionable to drive the service delivery transformation that government/providers seek to realise.
It is essential for all leaders to rally around a call to action to adopt the very essence of the National Development Plan, to make it their own and to reform, in camaraderie, the healthcare system for the next 20 years.
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