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The Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health (ASELPH) offers policy seminars to provide critical information about key policy debates and their potential implications to senior leaders, front-line managers and other key stakeholders



• Policy Activities
• Policy Seminars
Policy Round Tables
• Applied Research



Policy Seminars


ASELPH's policy seminars focus on key strategic issues involved in current policy debates to foster understanding of what's at stake and to create a constructive dialogue among the leaders and managers responsible for implementation. Seminars provide information, build institutional collaboration, and support long-term efforts for systems transformation.

Policy Seminars are led by faculty from implementing partner organisations and are timed to follow the release of research papers on South African health management and leadership issues.  




Health System Strengthening in Preparation for National Health Insurance (NHI), February 2015


This policy seminar was held at the University of Pretoria on 4 February 2015, and at the University of Fort Hare on 6 February 2015. The seminar featured Prof Bill Hsiao of Harvard University as a guest speaker. Other panelists included Prof Stephen Hendricks, ASELPH Programme Director, Prof Steward Whittaker from the Council of for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COSASHA), Dr Dumisani Bomela from the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) and Dr Humphrey Zofuka from the Board of Healthcare Funders (BFA). 

Please click here to read the report from the University of Pretoria seminar, and click here to read the report from the University of Fort Hare seminar. 


National Health Insurance (NHI) for South Africa: Meeting the health care needs of the needy, poor and destitute, July 2014


A policy seminar was held in Pretoria on the 25th of July.  The keynote address was given by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla.  A panel discussion and open discussion among the participants followed. 

Please click here to read the policy seminar report.


NHI Governance of Facilities, Challenges and Successes of Implementation in Massachusetts: Implications for South Africa, August 2013


A Policy Seminar titled “NHI Governance of Facilities, Challenges and Successes of Implementation in Massachusetts: Implications for South Africa"  was held in East London on the 5th of August with presentations from the National Department of Health, Eastern Cape Department of Health, as well as international perspectives presented by Professor Bill Hsiao, Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. It was attended by a wide range of stakeholders and the nature of the discussions focused on the direction of the NHI reform and its transformation of the District Health Authorities (DHAs) and public hospitals. 


National Health Insurance - Progress and Prospects


On May 16, 2013, a policy seminar on the National Health Insurance (NHI) initiative was organised as part of the launch of the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme for Health (ASELPH). The policy seminar examined global lessons for NHI policy development and the potential challenges faced in South Africa’s NHI implementation.

Three distinguished panellists took part in the seminar: Professor Bill Hsaio (Harvard School of Public Health), the Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi; and Dr. Mvuyo Tom (ASELPH Co‐Director and Vice Chancellor of University of Ft. Hare).

Several key themes emerged from the presentations and the panel discussions. First, South Africa faces the unique challenge of trying to modify an existing, entrenched two‐tiered health system. It will require significant resources to bring the public health system up to par with the care provided in the private sector, but it is critical to make this investment to ensure that effective coverage is provided for all South Africans.

Another primary point emphasized in the seminar is that the initial emphasis in South Africa will be on improving the quality of health care within the public health system, particularly primary health care. Efforts will be focused at the start so as not to raise expectations and to keep costs within reason. Only after quality services are offered within this more limited scope should the package be expanded.

Third, the Minister of Health stressed the need to focus on preventative care rather than just curative to reduce the burden of disease and as a means of reigning in health care costs, which are rising exponentially.


Click here for the document on the Policy Seminar (in PDF format).