Getting South Africa ready for National Health Insurance: critical next steps

Here are the powerpoint slides for a recent presentation I gave about National Health Insurance to a Symposium by Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA) on 6 February 2014:   ERSA NHI presentation_Jane Doherty 

The theme of the Symposium was “Critical choices regarding universal health coverage” and it was held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study.

My presentation was titled “Getting South Africa ready for NHI: critical next steps.” 

If you look on ERSA’s website you will find more details on the Symposium.

Regulating the for-profit private health sector in Africa

EQUINET (the Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa) have just published an editorial and report on legislation governing the for-profit private health sector in east and southern Africa. To access these publications, click on the links below:


Doherty J. 2013. We cannot afford to leave the for-profit private health sector unregulated in Africa (editorial). EQUINET Newsletter 150: 01 August 2013. Available at:


Doherty J. 2013. Legislation on the for-profit private health sector in east and southern Africa. EQUINET Discussion Paper 99.  Harare: HEU, EQUINET. Available at:


Can the private health sector fix the failings of public health systems?

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.

Contracting-out and cost recovery in public hospitals in South Africa

Please note that I’ve just added the two files belonging to Module 3 of the Hospital Project (see my earlier post). 

The first looks at cost recovery in public hospitals.  Although its proposals are somewhat outdated as there has been considerable work on user fees since it was published, it gives a good outline of problems with cost recovery in the past and the principles on which improved cost recovery should be based.

The second looks at contracting-out in public hospitals.  Again, although the contracting landscape has changed somewhat since then, it provides a useful classification of contracts and outlines an approach to improving contracting.

The Hospital Strategy Project: Module 3

In 1996 the Hospital Strategy Project produced a lengthy and detailed report based on year-long national consultations with government officials and other experts in South Africa.  The report, which was commissioned by South Africa’s National Department of Health and funded by the European Union, set out ‘A Vision and Strategy for South Africa’s Public Hospitals.’ 

Fifteen years later, many of the Hospital Strategy Project’s recommendations remain pertinent, although some need to be updated in light of current circumstances.

Although the report is technically in the public domain, it is very difficult to access hard copies, let alone electronic versions.  Over the past weeks I have begun to upload as many of the component parts of the report as I can access.  Today I am uploading Module 3 which deals with two separate issues:

3.1  The development of a strategy to improve cost recovery in the public sector system  Mod3StrategyCostRecovery

3.2  Contracting-out in the public hospital system  Mod3ContractingOut

Both of these texts are likely to have dated more than other modules because there have been several developments in these areas since 1996.

If you use any information from these reports, please acknowledge the source: 

Monitor Company, Health Partners International, Centre for Health Policy and National Labour and Economic Development Institute.  1996.  Module 3.  In:  Achieving equity, efficiency and accountability: a vision and strategy for South Africa’s public hospitals. Final report of the Hospital Strategy Project.  Johannesburg:  Monitor Company.