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Hospital standards regulations 'unworkable'

The South African Department of Health's draft regulations for hospital standards fail to take account of the differences between the public and private sector, and are unworkable in their current form, say industry sources in a Business Day report. The department published draft regulations for the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) on 18 February and gave interested parties three months to comment.

The draft regulations give teeth to the OHSC, a statutory body charged with upholding the standard of public and private sector health facilities, which is a key aspect of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's drive to improve the standards of public hospitals. SA has no national standards for health facilities: the private sector uses standards set locally and overseas, while there is nothing formal in place for the state sector.

Private hospital group Mediclinic International said private hospitals housed multiple businesses that operated independently of the facility in which they were housed, which made it virtually impossible to comply with some of the draft provisions. And an industry source who asked to remain anonymous said the department should consider distinct provisions for private hospitals.

The Hospital Association of SA, which represents private hospitals, welcomed moves towards minimum standards but declined to comment before canvassing its members' views.

[link url="http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/health/2015/05/07/draft-regulations-for-standards-at-hospitals-are-unworkable"]Full Business Day report[/link]

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