Health policy symposia

Interdisciplinary and Intersectoral Health Policy Symposia

Maternal Health Workshop 2016

The health research team in ReSEP will host a workshop on maternal health at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) on Monday, 25 January 2016.

The workshop will consider the origins of South Africa’s high maternal mortality, exploring deficiencies in antenatal care on both primary and hospital level. The focus will be predominantly on the public system, where most South African mothers receive their antenatal care. The aims of the workshop is to take stock of a number of recent policy relevant contributions in order to consider what we have learnt and what this means for policy making and implementation.  In pursuit of these aims a small number of experienced researchers, policy makers and practitioners that work in the area of maternal care have been invited to discuss and make sense of these recent findings.

Confirmed speakers for the workshop include:

  • Prof Robert Pattinson, Medical Research Council (MRC) and University of Pretoria
  • Dr Coceka Mnyani, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Prof Mark Tomlinson, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University
  • Dr Ingrid le Roux and Nokwanele Mbewu, Philani Mentor Mothers
  • Anja Smith, ReSEP, Stellenbosch University
  • Laura Rossouw, ReSEP, Stellenbosch University



ERSA Critical Choices Regarding Universal Health Coverage 2014

In 2012 the South African government embarked on what is anticipated to be a 14-year implementation process for National Health Insurance (NHI) through the launch of a NHI pilot programme in ten districts. In anticipation of the further roll-out of NHI , Economic Research South Africa (ERSA) hosted  a symposium on 6 February 2014 to debate how we plan to  achieve universal health coverage in South Africa. The discussion covered various choices relating to coverage, benefits, governance, institutional frameworks and financing, including financing sources. International researchers Peter Smith and Eddy van Doorslaer and a number of prominent South African health researchers such as Jane Goudge, Jane Doherty and Alex van den Heever contributed their analysis and perspectives.

The aim of the symposium was to deepen the discussion on the critical decisions around universal coverage so to inform and guide the public debate on the priorities in public health reform.

The full workshop programme can be found here.


The analyses which were presented at the symposium are available online:

Economic Aspects of Universal Health Coverage by Peter C Smith

ERSA NHI Presentation

Health Equity and Financial Protection in Asia

South Africa’s Health System

Wits Health Institutional Choices

Governance for UHC


Three policy briefs are available below:

ERSA Perspectives on Health Reform in South Africa 2011

This symposium aimed to contribute to the debate on health reform by discussing a number of core concerns. The goal is to move towards a common understanding of the problems with the South African health system and discuss solutions to these problems. It is envisioned as a forum for interaction between policy makers and researchers. The analyses presented at the symposium are available online:


(Dis)agreements in South African Health System Reform Debates

Access Barriers to ART in South Africa

Challenges in Resource Allocation and Health Service Purchasing

Enhancing governance and accountability in the health sector: lessons from the field

Health Reform: Challenges, Trends and Evidence

Introduction to Health Economics and Systems

Some Management Challenges in the Health Sector

Understanding Demand and Supply of Health Services