At the ASELPH Steering Committee meeting held in Pretoria earlier this year, a number of key issues were discussed relating to the programme and its impact on the South African public health sector. Based on the success of the programme and the graduation of the first ASELPH cohort in April, the steering committee continue to chart the way forward. The issues discussed included the following:
- The ASELPH Steering Committee is working towards “brand recognition”. In this regard the Steering Committee acknowledged that the programme had achieved a measure of success and that provinces are now approaching ASELPH for capacity building.
- Applied research remains key to the success of ASELPH. The Steering Committee highlighted the fact that applied research is an important factor within the context of the ASELPH programme. ASELPH involvement in applied research contributes directly and indirectly to public sector health policy and also to the overall public health sector in South Africa.
- ASLEPH remains at the forefront of addressing the capacity building needs of the National and Provincial Departments of Health. The ASELPH model has been developed ensuring inputs and needs of the key project partner – the Department of Health. This will continue to be the driving factor in the ASELPH programme.
- The ASELPH programme makes use of a “hybrid learning” model: ASELPH faculty recognised the fact that, within the South African context, there is a need for module interaction amongst ASELPH Fellows which creates a group learning dynamic. Although there is a global focus on e-learning and e-learning platforms, the advantages and disadvantages have to be considered within the South African context.
- The future focus of the ASELPH programme will have to look at accelerating the proposed CEO-specific training and enhancing the clinical training programme with specific emphasis on the needs of clinical managers and their roles and responsibilities within the hospital context.