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Assessment of the impact of family physicians in the district health system of the Western Cape, South Africa

Ferreira, Germarie (2015-12)

Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


The main aim was to explore the perceptions of rural district and metropolitan sub-structure managers on the impact of family physicians on the district health services. There were three main objectives: •To explore the perceived effect of Family Physicians on the health system performance (e.g. access to care, continuity of care, comprehensiveness of care, co-ordination of care)(27) •To explore the perceived effect of the Family Physicians on clinical processes (e.g. quality of care for HIV/AIDS, TB, maternal and child healthcare, non-communicable diseases, trauma) •To explore the perceived effect of Family Physicians on health outcomes (e.g. facility level mortality) Conclusion It was perceived that family physicians were fulfilling the role of competent clinician, consultant and leader of clinical governance well. Their role as a champion of community orientated primary care and as a clinical teacher was much less developed. They seemed to have a positive impact on the clinical processes for non-communicable chronic diseases, HIV and TB, mental health, eye care, child health and obstetrics. A few concerns were expressed about their skills in anaesthetics and surgery at rural hospitals. Access, co-ordination, comprehensiveness and efficiency of the health system were positively impacted. It was anticipated that in the long run health outcomes will be positively impacted.

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