Essack on Health Standards Compliance Board
UKZN’s Dean of the School of Health Sciences in the College of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack, has been appointed to the Board of the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC).
National Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, appointed Essack to serve on the board for the next three years.
The OHCS was established in terms of the National Health Amendment Act 2013 to regulate compliance with norms and standards by health establishments.
The objectives of the OHCS are to protect and promote the health and safety of users and health services by monitoring and enforcing compliance by health establishments with norms and standards prescribed by the Minister in relation to the National Health System; and ensuring consideration, investigation and disposal of complaints relating to non-compliance with prescribed norms and standards in a procedurally fair, economical and expeditious manner.
Essack, whose name was put forward for the board by UKZN’s Deputy Vice- Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Rob Slotow, said: ‘It is an honour and privilege to serve the national Department of Health. Interactions at this level will be an invaluable learning experience.’
The OHSC, set up on a model based on the British Quality Care Commission, has different units with the first being the inspectorate. It is mandatory for the unit to inspect every health facility once every four years with problematic health facilities being inspected more often to avoid deterioration.
Once inspected, a facility will be graded on a scale of A to F and a report released publicly.
The second unit of the body is a health ombudsperson. The public will be able to lodge complaints about negative experiences (including non-availability of drugs and long waiting times) encountered during visits to health facilities.
Essack (B. Pharm., M. Pharm., PhD) is a Professor in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UKZN; co-chair of the South African Chapter of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA); country representative on the Global Respiratory Infections Partnership (GRIP), and serves on the WHO’s Technical Working Group on Health Workforce Education Assessment Tools, the South African National Working Group of the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP), and the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme Working Group. She is also a peer-reviewed member of the Southern African FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) community.
Essack’s current research areas include antibiotic resistance, human resources for health access, and retention and success in Higher Education.
- Nombuso Dlamini