Developing leaders for the health system

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.

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Does expanding fiscal space lead to improved funding of the health sector?

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.

The origins of National Health Insurance

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).

Achieving universal health coverage in South Africa requires higher public sector spending

This article was published in The Conversation on international Universal Health Coverage Day on 12 December:

Doherty J, McIntyre D. 2015. South Africa needs to spend more on health care to achieve universal cover. The Conversation – Africa. 12 December 2015.

#FeesMustFall and the campaign for 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.

Universal health coverage assessment: South Africa

If anyone missed this in an earlier blog, I’ve posted a preliminary assessment of South Africa’s progress towards universal health coverage here.

The purpose of the assessment is to use what data are available to analyse the extent to which South Africans are enjoying financial protection against the costs of using health care services, and accessing the services they need.

Increasing the fiscal space for health in Africa

Tax-based financing is increasingly recognised as one of the better ways to finance universal health coverage.

But how feasible is it for low- and middle-income countries to increase tax revenue, and how likely is it that the public health sector will benefit from additional revenue? In other words, how easy is it to increase the fiscal space for health?

I have contributed to a study by the research consortium RESYST which explores some of these issues, using Kenya, Lagos State (in Nigeria) and South Africa as case studies.

See here for documents from this study.