New health financing and systems consortium

02 May 2011

Healthy outlook: At the recent meeting of RESYST, a new international consortium looking at health management and financing issuesHealthy outlook: At the recent meeting of RESYST, a new international consortium looking at health management and financing issues, were (from left) Dr Sassy Molyneux (Kemri Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya), Dr Duane Blaauw (Centre for Health Policy, University of Witwatersrand), Dr Kara Hanson (Health Economics and Systems Analysis Group and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Dr Jane Chuma (Kemri Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya), Dr Viroj Tangcharoensathien (International Health Policy Programme, Thailand), Prof Lucy Gilson (School of Public Health & Family Medicine, University of Cape Town), Assoc Prof Susan Cleary (Health Economics Unit, University of Cape Town), Dr Walaiporn Patcharanarumol (International Health Policy Programme, Thailand), Dr Weerasak Phuthasi (International Health Policy Programme, Thailand), and Dr Andrea Egan (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine).

The first annual management planning meeting of a new health financing and systems consortium, the Resilient and Responsive Health Systems (RESYST) consortium, funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DfID), was held in Cape Town in April.

RESYST will undertake health policy and systems research, with a focus on financing, health workers and governance, in a set of African and Asian countries, including South Africa, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Thailand, Tanzania and Vietnam.

"The new consortium is an exciting opportunity to interact with colleagues from various parts of the world in research areas such as how progressive financing systems can be developed and how health system leadership capabilities can be strengthened," explained Professor Lucy Gilson, consortium co-research director. (Gilson is a joint appointment between UCT's School of Public Health & Family Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine [LSHTM]).

"Through co-ordinating these and other activities, the consortium will provide the required support and resources needed to sustain existing, and develop new, multi-country collaborations in health financing and systems research," Gilson said.

In addition to conducting research, the consortium will strengthen efforts to support research uptake to enable policy and management changes that promote health, health equity and poverty reduction and support a range of capacity development activities.

For South Africa, UCT's Health Economics Unit will lead work around key research questions related to financing (Professor Di McIntyre) and governance (led by Gilson). Associate Professor Sue Cleary will also be a member of the consortium's management group.

DfID awarded £6 million (over R65 million) to RESYST, and overall activities will be co-ordinated by the LSHTM until 2016.

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