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Water Sector Policy Database (WSPD)

Policy Detail Information
Policy Name: Transformation of the Health System White Paper – April 1997

Open Policy Document Open Policy Document
This document has been opened: 7 447 times to date.
Date Of Release: 01 Apr 1997
Date Of Expected Review:
Date Last Updated: 30 Jan 2007
Policy Type: White paper
Policy Level: National
Department: Department of Health
Contact Name: Switchboard
Phone Number: 012 312 0000
Fax Number: 012 326 9395
Directorate: Chief Directorate
Contact Name:
Phone Number:
Fax Number:
Topics covered:
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Policy Precis:

The object of the White Paper is to present to the people of South Africa a set of policy objectives and principles upon which the Unified National Health System of South Africa will be based. In addition to these objectives, this document presents various implementation strategies designed to meet the basic needs of all our people, given the limited resources available. The strategic approach guiding this endeavour is that of Comprehensive Primary Health Care. We believe this accords with the health objectives spelt out in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the vehicle for socioeconomic transformation in our country. We advance a wide range of policies that will fundamentally transform our health care delivery system. Some significant steps have already been taken in this direction but a lot still needs to be done. We intend to decentralise management of health services, with emphasis on the district health system- increase access to services by making primary health care available to all our citizens; ensure the availability of safe, good quality essential drugs in health facilities; and rationalise health financing through budget reprioritisation. Furthermore, the development of a National Health Information System will facilitate health planning and management, and strengthen disease prevention and health promotion in areas such as HIV/AIDS, STDs and maternal, child and women`s health. The Integrated Nutrition Programme will focus more on sustainable food security for the needy.

Section Summary

  Section Number Section Heading Section Description
01 Mission, goals and objectives of the health sector
02 Reorganising the health service
03 Financial and physical resources
04 Developing human resources for health
05 Essential national health research
06 Health information
07 Nutrition
08 Maternal, child and women's health
09 HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases
10 Communicable diseases
11 Environmental health
12 Mental health and substance abuse
13 Oral health
14 Occupational health
15 Academic health service complexes
16 National health laboratory services
17 The role of hospitals
18 Health promotion and communication
19 The role of donor agencies and non-governmental organisations
20 International Health
21 Year 2000 health goals, objectives and indicators for South Africa

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