My latest book chapter has just been published:
Doherty J, McIntyre D. 2013. Addressing the failings of public health systems: should the private sector be an instrument of choice? In: Surender D, Walker R (eds). 2013. Social policy in a developing world. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Posted in Financing, Private sector | Tagged Africa, contracting, efficiency, equity, financing, for-profit, health systems, human resources, low- and middle-income countries, national health insurance, private sector, universal health coverage | Leave a Comment »
Here is my latest article on clinical associates:
Doherty J. 2013. Addressing staff shortages at public hospitals: a role for clinical associates? Public Health Association of Southern Africa Newsletter February 28. Available at: http://www.phasa.org.za/articles/addressing-staff-shortages-in-public-hospitals-a-role-for-clinical-associates.html
Posted in Capacity, District Health Systems, Hospitals, Human Resources | Tagged hospital, human resources, low- and middle-income countries, rural, South Africa, training | Leave a Comment »
I have just published the following open source article on mid-level medical health workers (Clinical Associates) in South Africa:
Doherty J, Conco D, Couper I, Fonn S. (2013) Developing a new mid-level health worker: lessons from South Africa’s experience with Clinical Associates. Global Health Action; 6: 19282. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v6i0.19282
Posted in District Health Systems, Hospitals, Human Resources, Policy Research | Tagged Africa, hospital, human resources, low- and middle-income countries, policy, rural, South Africa, training | Leave a Comment »
South Africa has begun producing a new type of health professional - a clinical associate.
You can read a bit more about clinical associates here but, in brief, they are people ideally suited to working in hospitals, helping doctors carry out some of their tasks – like dealing with emergencies and doing procedures.
Clinical associates don’t replace doctors or nurses – they work with them, sharing some of their workload, and allowing them to concentrate on the tasks for which only they are qualified.
There is no doubt that more doctors and nurses need to be trained and recruited into the South African health system. But will this alone solve the country’s staff shortages? Realistically, how many decades will it take to fill all the country’s vacant posts? Can the country afford a system exclusively based on doctors and nurses? Is this even necessary?
It takes less time to train a clinical associate. They can become very good at what they do because they focus on a special set of skills and are supervised by doctors. They are recruited from rural and disadvantaged communities. Health workers a bit like them have made an enormous difference to many health systems around the world, especially in Africa but even in the United States.
So clinical associates could do a lot to address staff shortages in the public sector, especially in district hospitals. They could help bring good quality care closer to communities in a way that is affordable for the country. Along with other initiatives – such as strengthening hospital management – they could help produce public services that live up to the aspirations of the NHI policy.
So why isn’t there more excitement about this new category of health professional? Why don’t we hear about them in the press or from government spokespeople?
Clinical associates are noted as a priority in the latest government human resource strategy but the future of clinical associates and the strategy of NHI need to become much more closely intertwined.
Posted in District Health Systems, Hospitals, Human Resources, NHI Snippets | Tagged Africa, health systems, hospital, human resources, low- and middle-income countries, national health insurance, rural, South Africa, universal health coverage | Leave a Comment »
I would like to get into contact with researchers, policy-makers and legal experts working on appropriate policies and legislation governing the for-profit private health sector in Africa.
Or perhas you do work on other low- or middle-income countries that might be relevant to the African situation?
On the ‘About Jane Doherty’ tab above you will find my e-mail address if you want to let me know about the work you are doing or have research or reports to share.
On the ‘Private health sector’ tab you will find my own work on the private sector (with links to the electronic versions where available). Of particular interest might be:
- FORTHCOMING: A situation analysis of private sector legislation in East and Southern Africa which is still in an early draft form
- FORTHCOMING: Doherty J, McIntyre D. (2013) Addressing the failings of public health systems: should the private sector be an instrument of choice? In: Surender R, Walker R. (2013) Social policy in a developing world. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar
- Doherty J. 2011. Expansion of the private for-profit health sector in East and Southern Africa. EQUINET with HEU, UCT and TARSC Policy Brief 26. Harare: EQUINET.
- Doherty J. 2011. Expansion of the private health sector in East and Southern Africa. EQUINET Discussion Paper 87. EQUINET: Harare.
- A report summarising research on the for-profit private health sector in South Africa from the 1980s to 2003: Doherty J, Steinberg M. 2003. Priority health care information needs for reform: what role for BHF? Johannesburg: Board of Healthcare Funders.
Posted in Financing, Policy Research, Private sector | Tagged Africa, efficiency, financing, for-profit, health systems, low- and middle-income countries, policy, private sector, research, South Africa | Leave a Comment »
Colleagues and I have just published a new chapter on health financing and expenditure in South Africa:
McIntyre DE, Doherty JE, Ataguba JE. (2012) Health care financing and expenditure – post-1994 progress and remaining challenges. In: Van Rensburg HCJ (ed). Health and health care in South Africa (2nd edition). Pretoria: van Schaik Publishers. ISBN: 9780627030130
Posted in Financing | Tagged efficiency, equity, financing, national health insurance, South Africa, universal health coverage | Leave a Comment »