Poor leadership has been identified as one of the most important obstacles to health systems development.
Here is an article reflecting on the experience of the Oliver Tambo Fellowship Programme in training leaders for the South African health system.
Together with colleagues, I have just published an article that examines whether improved fiscal space in Kenya, Lagos State (Nigeria), and South Africa led to improved per capita spending on health.
Click here for the answer, together with an explanation of the trends.
Colleagues and I have just published a new article in the journal, Global Health Action.
It is titled Strengthening expertise for health technology assessment and priority-setting in Africa.
As the article explains, “The focus on priority-setting is in response to the urgent need to ensure scarce resources are used effectively in support of Universal Health Coverage, and the scant literature discussing how technical economic evaluations should be integrated into highly political and complex priority-setting processes. Researchers’ roles in developing capacity in these areas are highlighted because few African governments have technology assessment units that can take responsibility for driving formal priority-setting processes.”
The White Paper on National Health Insurance was published on 11 December.
This draft policy has its origins in debates that emerged in the late 1980s.
For those of you interested in the history of these debates, read the publication below that was published by Wits University’s Centre for Health Policy in 2000.
The document talks about the important design features of different policy proposals during the 1990s, as well as the lessons learned during this time with respect to managing the process of policy development.
The document is out of print, but I’ve managed to resurrect it using an old copy.
Doherty J, McIntyre D, Gilson L, Thomas S, Brijlal V, Bowa C, Mbatsha S. 2000. Social health insurance in South Africa: past, present and future. Johannesburg: Centre for Health Policy, for the Centre for Health Policy (University of the Witwatersrand) and the Health Economics Unit (University of Cape Town).
One of the key reasons for weak public health systems is poor leadership.
It is urgent to up-skill aspirant leaders if countries want to achieve universal health coverage.
Here are some tips on how to do this in a way that is sensitive to the needs of workplaces:
Doherty J, Gilson L. 2015. Workplace-based learning for health systems leaders. London: RESYST Consortium.
Check out the new website of GNHE (pronounced ‘Gini,’ as in the Gini Coefficient) and follow GNHE on twitter @GNHE2015.
GHNE is a network of research institutions from Latin America, Africa and Asia, and we’ve prepared analyses of progress towards universal health coverage in 15 countries so far.
Also read our recommendations on practical ways countries can measure access and financial protection on their path to universal health coverage.
To mark the second international Universal Health Coverage Day on 12 December, my colleague, Di McIntyre, and I have just published an editorial in the South African Medical Journal.
The article argues that both the education and health sectors have been underfunded since the demise of apartheid. This is for several reasons, including fiscal policy choices.
Strengthened public funding is required for both sectors, not only from a human rights perspective, but also because economic growth depends on investment in these sectors.
You can read the article here.
Here is the link for a blog post that has just been published on Oxfam’s Global Health Check – it summarises the recommendations of the paper in my previous post.
Doherty J. 2015. Achieving universal health coverage in Africa: is there a role for formal for-profit providers? Global Health Check. Available at: http://www.globalhealthcheck.org/?p=1841
Doherty J. 2015. Achieving universal health coverage in East and Southern Africa: what role for for-profit providers? Paper presented as part of Panel Session T03P13: Private sector and universal health coverage – examining evidence and deconstructing rhetoric. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1993.9682. The International Conference on Public Policy, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy, 1-4 July 2015.
This paper cautions that regulatory frameworks governing the behaviour of the for-profit private health sector in Africa are weak.
These frameworks need to be strengthened before promoting the growth of the for-profit private health sector.
This is because, if poorly regulated, the behaviour of the for-profit health sector can lead to health system distortions that undermine progress towards universal access to affordable, quality health care.
More detail on legislation in the region can be found in:
Doherty J. 2015. Regulating the for-profit private health sector: lessons from East and Southern Africa. Health Policy and Planning; 30(3); i93-i102. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu111.