JOHANNESBURG, May 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Establishing formal guidelines through the inauguration of a new Office of Health Standards Compliance is hoped to tip the balance in favour of public sector facilities.
South Africa currently spends a generous 8% of GDP on healthcare every year. However most of that money is being spent through the private healthcare side, despite the fact that nearly 64% of the South African population relies on the current public system. In the meantime, the vision for infrastructure growth is one of the important drivers to ensure service delivery goals are achieved.
With the proposed introduction of the much debated National Health Insurance (NHI) plan set to commence in 2012, The Ministry of Health's recently published draft laws pave the way for the new Office of Health Standards Compliance, which is expected to play a key role in accrediting health facilities once the government's plan for the NHI gets under way. The office will set standards for the public and private sectors, and is intended to help managers improve the quality of services that is poor in many public hospitals and clinics. It will also inspect health facilities and certify those that meet the grade.
The newly released National Health Insurance white paper will be explored in detail at the second annual Health Facilities Design and Development Africa conference where the focus will be on developing effective hospital models to complement this NHI strategy. Hospital planners, engineers and architects will have a unique opportunity to familiarise themselves with the application of design, construction and equipping of hospital facilities within the realm of these new Ministry of Health directives while reviewing hospital developments already in motion in South Africa and Botswana.
The Health Department's cluster manager for the Office of Health Standards Compliance, Dr Carol Marshall, recognises that these reforms are only the start of a continuous process that will standardise the variety of models within the private arena and for the first time initiate formal guidelines for the state sector. Mr Kurt Worrall-Clare of Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) further elaborated that the private hospital sector worked closely with the Health Department to devise protocols that would apply to both public and private hospitals and emphasised that "the intention to measure all facilities with the same yardstick is commendable".
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For information about Health Facilities Design and Development conference, 20 - 23 June 2011 at Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, visit http://www.healthfacilitiesafrica.com Alternatively contact: Katia Andrejev, Marketing Manager, IQPC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call; +9714-446-2748
SOURCE IQPC Middle East