The National Health Insurance, the decentralised clinical training platform, and specialist outreach

  • R I Caldwell
  • C Aldous


According to the Constitution of South Africa (SA), citizens living in remote areas are entitled to the same level of healthcare as those with access to tertiary hospitals. Specialist outreach has been shown to achieve this. When SA’s National Health Services Commission convened (1942 - 1944), Gluckman summarised: ‘Where the need is greatest the supply of hospitals is least.’ Primary healthcare (PHC) characterised the Kark’s Pholela Health Centre and was highly regarded. Although PHC underpins National Health Insurance (NHI) planning, both preventive and curative healthcare are needed. The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial Department of Health and the University of KZN College of Health Sciences’ 5-year plan for a decentralised clinical teaching platform (DCTP) is ambitious, requiring optimum co-operation between health department and university. Reservations can be addressed through sustained specialist outreach. Above all, the patient must be the chief beneficiary. The NHI and DCTP overlap with specialist outreach, but cannot do without it.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135