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National Digital Health Strategy for South Africa 2019 – 2024

I’ve just caught up with the SA Health Ministry’s national Digital Strategy, published on 2 May, which promises “Better health for all South Africans enabled by person-centred Digital Health”. Anyone wanting a copy of this document please let me know (alastair@ecomafrica.org). I flipped through it looking for any reference to online ordering of pharmaceuticals (for either prescription only or over-the-counter remedies). This is a key element of ‘digital health’, and a great benefit for patients. Chronic ailments can be treated online with the doctor renewing the script and the patient ordering the drugs online (at least one large SA pharmacy offers that service). But technically online sales of both prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals  are limited (see the next article)! This Strategy has failed to address that issue. Any comments welcome.

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