Dr Anban Pillay

The nine commissions appointed during the Presidential Healthcare Summit in October to document the challenges and propose interventions in their specific sectors, have finalised their input into the Presidential Compact as planned, Department of Health deputy director-general, Dr Anban Pillay, informed KZNDHC Conference delegates in Durban at the weekend.

“The compact document will be signed by the President, Minister and sector representatives at an event to be convened soon,” Pillay assured, having earlier reminded his audience that objectives of the compact were to address the immediate, short-term and medium term challenges in the health system in nine thematic areas, ensure that the relevant organs, statutory bodies and institutions of State are accountable, and respect the respective roles and functions of different stakeholders.

To this end, linked to the compact document will be an action plan and a monitoring framework.

The nine thematic areas are Human Resources, Medicines and medical products, Infrastructure, Private sector engagement, Quality of Public sector services, Financial Management, Leadership and governance, Community Engagement, and Health Information Systems.

Picking up on private sector engagement, Pillay took a similar line taken by his D-G Precious Matsoso during a conference session the previous evening (see yesterday’s Med Brief Africa report) in terms of having to “define the service needs and lay out the challenge to be met by the private sector”.

“Here we will have to specifically look at under-utilised capacity and actions to access for unmet needs,” he added, “and encourage local experiments with collaboration, innovative service delivery models and governance arrangements from which we can learn.

“A priority,” he stressed, “will be to develop a charter / framework to mandate collaboration based on principles including affordability, good governance…in other words, provide a basis for ‘modus co-operandi’.