Health sector transformation : an investigation of community participation in public health policy formulation at a local level in Mpumuza, KwaZulu-Natal.
Ngcobo, Sibusisiwe Maureen.
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The basis of my study is the belief that governance of the local delivery of health could usefully include full and wide community representation and participation by the stakeholders and the larger community. The study was initially carried out in 2003 and now the same clinic has been targeted to carry out an update to see whether the perceptions have changed; if so why and if not what the status is. This study investigates the proposition that if communities do not participate in policy formulation processes, implementation is crippled. The case study is of free health-care policy in a small area of Pietermaritzburg, the Mpumuza area. This area is chosen because it has a local clinic that is being used by the local people to get free primary health care services, covered by the national policy. My interest in the study is influenced by the role I played as a public servant within the district Department of Health one and a half years ago. I dealt, on a daily basis, with service delivery (with a focus on facilitation of the process of service delivery). My interest is to know how the processes of policy development unfold in practice. The study will be examining what the different writers allude to in relation to policy formulation and implementation, the legislative framework pertaining to health policy, the actual case study and finally the conclusions drawn and recommendations, which are open for further exploration in other studies. The study looks at the impact of lack of involvement of the community members (who are at the receiving end) and the role of service providers (who for the purposes of this study will be confined to the nurses that offer the health services at the specific local clinic). Basically the study found that the subject of involving communities in policy formulation is a crucial one if the policy is to be successfully implemented and these are detailed later in the document.
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