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Background: Despite the growth of biomedical research in South Africa, there are few insights into the operation of Research Ethics Committees (RECs) in this setting. We investigated the composition, operations and training needs of health RECs in South Africa against the backdrop of national and international guidelines. Methods: The 12 major health RECs in South Africa were surveyed using semi-structured questionnaires that investigated the composition and functions of each REC as well as the operational issues facing committees. Results: Health RECs in SA have an average of 16 members and REC members are predominantly male and white. Overall, there was a large discrepancy in findings between under-resourced RECs and well resourced RECs. The majority of members (56%) are scientists or clinicians who are typically affiliated to the sa...
Background South Africa currently has a pluralistic health care system with separate public and private sectors. It is, however, moving towards a socialised model with the introduction of National Health Insurance. The South African legislative environment has changed recently with the promulgation of the Consumer Protection Act and proposed amendments to the National Health Act. Patients can now be viewed as consumers from a legal perspective. This has various implications for health care systems, health care providers and the doctor-patient relationship. Discussion Calling a recipient of health care a ‘consumer’ as opposed to a ‘patient’ has distinct connotations and may result in differential behaviour. Labels reflect the ideals of the context in which they are used. Various models of the doctor-patient relationship exist and differ...
The original publication is available at http://www.sajbl.org.za/
The original publication is available at http://www.sajbl.org.za/
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