Supporting evidence-based practice and improving quality in South Africa
In 2003, the governments of the UK and South Africa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aiming to “enhance clinical/technical skills and to explore best practice in health care delivery.” The MoU enjoys the support of all four UK countries, the Department of Health, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Development and is to be renewed for another 5-year period.
NICE is explicitly mentioned as a core UK partner that can add value in “improving the quality of care through diverse interventions in the public health system”. In this capacity NICE contributed to the first Ministerial workshop dedicated to improving quality and service delivery in public hospitals of South Africa, held in Pretoria in 2006. This event initiated an ongoing collaboration between health policy makers from the Ministry of Health of South Africa and NICE. Two streams of work have since emerged: (a) adapting NICE methodologies for developing clinical guidelines in South Africa as well as the final NICE guideline product, where appropriate, to help set best practice standards; (b) building a process for economic evaluation of medical technologies compatible with South African drug licensing and pricing arrangements, where evidence of comparative clinical and cost effectiveness can be used to inform pricing and reimbursement decisions within the budget dedicated to pharmaceuticals by the South African government.
Following a direct request by our South African colleagues to the UK government, NICE is to remain part of the MoU when it is due for renewal, in 2008. Whilst not focused on a specific problem or aiming to deliver a certain product, this is an ongoing collaboration where NICE can offer support and access to its resource either on an as required basis in order to address specific challenges (as in the case of the Ministerial workshop) or on a continuous long-term basis, to help develop the methods and processes to strengthen the institutions responsible for supporting quality, value and access in the public healthcare system of South Africa.
This page was last updated: 09 June 2009