The Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) is a new body, created by a change to the National Health Act, to protect and promote the safety of users of health services.
The OHSC is there to ensure that:
- Health establishments comply with the required standards.
- Complaints about healthcare are investigated and action is taken where necessary.
Which health services fall under the OHSC?
The focus of the OHSC is the “health establishment” not the individual health care professional. Health care establishments include a range of health-related services, both public and private, that provide direct patient care.
The OHSC will focus initially on hospitals and clinics and will broaden its activities gradually to cover other health care establishments.
The conduct of individual health care professionals will continue to be regulated by the Health Professions Council of SA, the SA Nursing Council, the Pharmacy Council, and other relevant professional councils. The OHSC will work synergistically with these bodies toward reaching a common goal.
How does the OHSC enforce health standards?
The OHSC acts with the full authority of the law and it is required to ensure that health care establishments meet the required standards by:
- Monitoringhealth care establishments through the collection of key information.
- Inspectinghealth care establishments by deploying teams of specially trained inspectors.
- Awarding certificatesto health care establishments that meet the required standards.
- Issuing noticesto health care establishments that fall below standard, instructing them on mandatory requirements and ensuring these standards are met.
- Investigating and settling complaintsfrom the public about sub-standard health services.
How does the OHSC relate to the Health Ombud?
The National Health Amendment Act provides for the Minister of Health to appoint an ombud – a kind of public protector – for the healthcare sector.
- The ombud must consider, investigate and settle complaints about poor quality healthcare. He or she must make a recommendation for action at the end of every investigation and the CEO of the OHSC must see this is carried out.
- The ombud reports directly to the Minister, not to the OHSC but the OHSC must, however, provide the ombud with the staff needed for effective functioning.
OHSC contact details are as follows:
Toll-Free Number: 080 911 6472
Fax: 086 560 4157
Post: Private Bag X 21, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0007
Walk-in: OHSC Offices, Medical Research Council Building, 1 Soutpansberg Road, Prinshof, Pretoria
This content was lifted from OHSC website with minor editing