South Africa: WHO Supported "Presidential Health Compact" Is Launched

The President of South Africa, Mr. Cyril M Ramaphosa, on Thursday 25 July 2019 launched the country's 'Presidential Health Compact'. The Compact lays down a five-year roadmap for health systems strengthening reforms under the '9 pillars' towards accelerating Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in South Africa.

It originated from months of extensive consultative deliberations between key stakeholders following the Presidential Health Summit in Oct 2018. The Stakeholders comprised government, health and allied health professionals, labour, business community, academics and researchers, statutory bodies, traditional health practitioners and public health entities. WHO provided essential technical advice and support in development of the Presidential Health Compact.

The premise was that the health system cannot be fixed by the Health Department alone, but requires a focused, holistic and collaborative approach

The Presidential Health Compact was signed by the President and Minister of Health-South Africa, as well as the representatives of the various stakeholder groups who all agreed to work collectively on the various 9 pillars towards a stronger health system capable of providing access to quality health services for all South Africans. The compact outlines the roles of all key stakeholder groups in implementation of critical tasks related to UHC and National Health Insurance (NHI) in South Africa, such as updating the quality improvement plans, development of HRH operational plan, improving public finance management, access to essential medicines, upgrading infrastructure, use of information technology through public private partnerships for upscaling initiatives aimed at strengthening Health systems

The Presidential Health Compact will be instrumental in accelerating progress towards UHC over next 5 years. According to Dr Brian Chirombo, Acting WHO Representative to South Africa, "The implementation of the compact is expected to contribute significantly towards improving the healthcare system in the country leading to many more South Africans having access to quality health services. We believe that it is the path to South Africa's acceleration towards Universal Health Coverage, which will ensure that the country contributes to Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3 on Health, aimed at ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages"

The WCO team working closely and tirelessly with the Presidency in the development of the Compact and, is committed to continue it's collaboration in the implementation of the compact over next five years.

To view commentary on the launch of the Presidential Health Compact click on the following link: https://www.enca.com/news/ramaphosa-presides-presidential-health-compact-signing

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