NATIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE
| Minister of Health speaking at the Quality Consultation about South Africa's health crisis.
Improving the quality of healthcare in South Africa is an essential prerequisite for the National Health Insurance scheme.
In 2010 the National Department of Health (NDOH) asked SARRAH for assistance with the establishment of an independent national standards compliance body to regulate the quality of services in the public health sector. SARRAH contracted consultants to work on the process and supported national meetings and consultations
. International experts contributed to this process and the design of the body was influenced by the UK's Care Quality Commission. Initial work included the following:
- The development of a uniform set of standards and assessment tools to measure quality of services: Existing national core standards for hospitals and primary healthcare facilities were revised, and assessment tools and checklists were developed and field-tested. Three documents describing National Core Standards, and all associated tools were printed and distributed to the provinces.READ...
- Scoping of the new public entity, the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC): A concept document was produced that described the role of the OHSC and its Inspectorate and Ombudsperson, and benchmarked these with international best practice. This culminated in a draft bill published in the Government Gazette in January 2011.
- Budgeting for the OHSC: A budget bid and business case were prepared for Treasury, which has secured funding for the office over the next three years.
During 2011 SARRAH supported further consultations on the bill and training of provincial coordinators who will oversee the implementation of standards in facilities, on a self-assessment basis. SARRAH-supported communications consultants also assisted the NDOH with materials for a communications campaign
In December SARRAH assisted with a comprehensive training and orientation programme for the first cohort of 15 inspectors who will be responsible for auditing and accrediting facilities once the OHSC has been established. Two teams of senior inspectors, together with the management of the OHSC, attended a futher orientation at the Care Quality Commission in London during December. READ...
In 2012 the draft bill was debated in parliament and public hearings held. A SARRAH-supported benchmarking and scoping report was also finalised and distributed by the DG to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health.
The Portfolio Committee on Health conducted a clause-by-clause analysis of the bill, considreing the submissions received during the public hearings. The two most substantial alterations to the bill were to create more robust governance arrangements, through the provision of a board, and to substantially increase the powers of the Ombudsperson.
The revised National Health Amendment Bill was approved by the National Assembly in August 2012 and will be promulgated after final approval from the National Council of Provinces. The OHSC is expected to be up and running by April 2013.
SARRAH is also providing support for the scoping and drafting of legislation for the the establishment of the central Litigation Authority to process medico-legal claims in South Africa.
Documents on National Quality Assurance. READ...
Project Briefs. READ...
Case study: Improving quality, saving time, saving lives. READ...