In-depth: What two major bills might mean for health sector procurement in SA

Between South Africa’s Public Procurement Bill and the National Health Insurance Bill, health sector procurement in the country is set for a major shake-up – all as a landmark court decision recently reaffirmed the Constitutional imperative that public procurement must be conducted in a transparent way. Alicestine October takes a deep dive into the accelerating currents of procurement reform.

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OPINION: Budget 2023 – opportunity missed to refocus public health spending?

Budgets, while important, are not the right mechanism to drive the structural change needed to improve the responsiveness of our public health system in meeting the needs of the population. But, argues Russel Rensburg, we can reorient the health system towards meeting the health needs of the population and then let the budget bolster the reforms. Here he provides some suggestions on how to go about it and contrasts that with the budget announced by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana this week.

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OPINION: NHI Bill must still clear many hurdles to ensure adequate medicine access

The Health Department’s recent response to submissions and its own recommendations on amendments to the National Health Insurance Bill sadly does not realise the gravity of the threat to the future of medicine selection and access. As the Bill currently stands, it will leave us at the mercy of advisory committees that bear no duty to be transparent in deciding which medicines people will be able to access under NHI, the authors argue.

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ANALYSIS: Mixed feelings about NHI at public health conference

National Health Insurance (NHI) was one of the hot topics at the 2022 Public Health Association of South Africa Conference recently held in Durban. While several speakers and attendees expressed support for the principles underpinning NHI, many also expressed reservations. Elri Voigt assesses what the conference told us about the views of some of South Africa’s public health experts on NHI.

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“It took me three seconds to decide” – Fareed Abdullah reflects on his career in public health

Over the last three decades, Dr Fareed Abdullah has been at the coalface of South Africa’s response to HIV, tuberculosis, and more recently, COVID-19. Biénne Huisman chatted with Abdullah about providing antiretrovirals in the time of AIDS denialism, National Health Insurance, working as a medical doctor, and the toll HIV has sadly taken on his own family.

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