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Comprehensive strategy to improve Primary Healthcare in SA

Genesis was contracted to assist Population Services International (PSI) and Society for Family Health (SFH) to develop PSI’s South Africa strategy.

PSI is an organisation that optimises health impact by developing targeted solutions that increase consumer choice and improve access to quality, affordable health products.

SFH is a leading South African public health non-profit, non-governmental organisation and PSI network member that brings quality health products and services to vulnerable and low-income communities.

We were asked to develop PSI’s South Africa strategy in line with its global strategy of universal health coverage (UHC) using our existing local sectoral experience and extensive understanding of the South African health system. The strategy aimed to meet the needs of low-income South Africans, shaping the policies and funding mechanisms, and focusing on capacity development, both internal and external, in the primary healthcare (PHC) sector.

Our approach

We completed a landscaping exercise of PHC in South Africa through a desktop review and key informant interviews (KII) with stakeholders in the public and private health sectors. These covered (a) the structure of PHC, (b) challenges and innovations in PHC service delivery and financing, (c) the experience of low-income South Africans in navigating PHC, and (d) the regulatory environment. It was important to also consider how these elements would intersect with the changes that the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) policy could bring.

Recommendations for unlocking value

Using the making-markets-better-for-the-poor (M4P) framework – an approach that aims to improve the long-term efficiency and inclusiveness of markets in developing countries – we identified gaps in the South African PHC supply, demand, and regulatory environments where PSI-led interventions could unlock value. One such recommendation is for PSI to use its expertise with mobile and technology-enabled service delivery approaches to deliver youth-friendly services.

By framing the PHC landscape, understanding the expertise and vision of our client, and using the M4P framework, we were able to deliver a comprehensive strategy with concrete recommendations for the future roles of PSI and SFH in the PHC sector in the country. Initial client feedback has been extremely positive and PSI is likely to adopt the strategy we have proposed.

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