CANSA & Partners Recognise Universal Health Coverage Day

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) hosted a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) event on behalf of the Cancer Alliance and the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of South Africa (SANCDA), on Tuesday, 5th December 2017 to recognise the importance of UHC Day (12 December 2017). View all Global UHC events…

CANSA invited the Health Department, health care professionals and other civil society organisations that are instrumental in the promotion of #HealthForAll, to come and share ideas regarding how to promote universal health coverage for all in South Africa.

Key Discussion Points:

  • Generally it was agreed that the approach to care that is provided by the health department, includes many elements of universal health coverage. The National Health Insurance (NHI) that is piloted in SA acknowledges that access to quality care is a Human Rights issue.
  • In spite of the measures in place, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed, such as health disparities which need to be dealt with urgently.
  • Issues raised also included the need to strengthen the health care-system, improve a patient-centered approach to care, and strengthen our collaborative efforts.
  • The chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Cancer Committee shared that she is advocating that the National Department of Health (NDoH) should review and develop national policies on childhood, lung and prostate cancers. She applauded the NDoH for the noticeable developments they had made to date, improving policies with regards to certain cancers, together with the national cancer control plan.
  • Palliative care was highlighted as being essential throughout the trajectory of all patients’ illness with life threatening diseases, and not to be seen as end of life care only.

Other points that were raised that need to be strengthened include the following:

  • Transparency and accountability essential in order to produce results
  • Evidence-based national health strategies and leadership, with government stewardship to ensure availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of service delivery
  • Making health systems everybody’s business – with engagement of citizens, communities, civil society and private sector

All that were present agreed that South Africa is committed to ensuring universal health coverage, but that a lot more work is necessary to achieve this.



Ms. Kwanele Asante-Shongwe
Ministerial Advisory Committee

Barbara Thompson- Green
Hospice Palliative Care Association

Prof Shabir Moosa
Wits Family Medicine

Adri Ludick
CHOC-Childhood Cancer Foundation SA

Dr Mpho Ratshikana
Wits Palliative Care Centre of Excellence

Mr Zanoxolo Futshane
Deputy / Director Health Services
Gauteng Health

Dr Chika Asomugha
Senior Medical Advisor
Gauteng Health

Ms Duduzile Mthombeni
Deputy Director NCDs
Gauteng Health

Ms Stephné Jacobs,
Chairperson of the Board of Management
Reach for Recovery

Ms. Elize Joubert

Prof Michael Herbst
CANSA: Health Specialist

Ms. Nonhlanhla Duba
CANSA: Clinical Health Specialist


Mr Andre Rose
President Public Health Association of South Africa

Mr Rose submitted written input which was read out during the Panel Discussions

About Universal Health Coverage Day

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations unanimously endorsed a historic resolution urging all countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage as an essential priority for international development.

UHC Day has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for health for all. Each year on 12.12, we raise our voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, to call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and to remind the world that health for all is imperative for the world we want.


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