Training needs for primary healthcare clinics in National Health Insurance pilot districts

E Holland, D Olivier, C Louwrens


Background. The Foundation for Professional Development is providing services to the National Department of Health (NDoH) to recruit and manage the performance of 142 medical practitioners who provide clinical services in the primary healthcare (PHC) clinics in the pilot districts of the National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative.

Objectives. To review the training requirements of recruited medical practitioners in order to identify gaps in competencies and to contribute to the success of the NHI initiative to improve the quality of healthcare services for all South Africans.

Methods. The NDoH’s priority clinical conditions were used to inform the design of a self-reported training-needs questionnaire. Respondents had to rate their personal competency in 11 priority clinical conditions, and provide their reasons for not acquiring the necessary competency in each condition. A personal competency score for each priority clinical condition and an overall score on self-reported personal competency were calculated.

Results. The immediate care for, investigation and management of sexual assault and the management of drugresistant tuberculosis and depression in adults were identified as the clinical conditions with the lowest personal competency ratings. The overall reasons identified for not acquiring the necessary competencies were insufficient exposure, insufficient training or a combination thereof.

Conclusion. Training in the priority conditions in PHC services should be constantly evaluated and addressed to ensure optimal service delivery. These conditions should receive specific focus in the training at medical schools and during internship, and competencies should be consolidated by targeted education programmes at PHC facilities.

Authors' affiliations

E Holland, Special Projects Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

D Olivier, Research Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

C Louwrens, Programme Evaluation Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (196KB)

Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Public Health (incorporating Strengthening Health Systems) 2017;2(1):12-17. DOI:10.7196/SHS.2017.v2i1.27

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-07-14
Date published: 2017-07-14

Article Views

Abstract views: 5350
Full text views: 2091

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here
View all comments

Southern African Journal of Public Health | © 2014 Health & Medical Publishing Group 

This journal is protected by a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 4.0)