See the next COPC4NHI Webinar 1-2pm, Wednesday, 25th October 2023!

  • Topic: “COPC Principles and Challenges for NHI”
  • Speaker: Prof Steve Reid, University of Cape Town. See bio below


At a practical level in primary health care, how do we move from aspirations and sporadic gestures in community health, towards sustainable systematic improvements in access to quality facility-based and community-based services at a population level? How do we ensure that those who need care the most, receive it? How can health promotion in its widest understanding, happen in a sustainable way? How could these actions be incentivised, or otherwise sustained?

Community-oriented primary care provides a step-wise framework for assessing and prioritizing community health issues at a population level, starting from individual healthcare and moving outwards to family, neighbourhood, and community care, with increasing levels of community involvement. It is a feasible model of care, successfully practised in many other low and middle income countries, that has remarkable effects on health outcomes. This presentation will outline the COPC approach, defined as A continuous process by which primary health care is provided to a defined community on the basis of its assessed health needs, by the planned integration of primary care practice and public health”. (Abramson 1988).

The links of COPC to Universal Health Coverage and the National Health Insurance will then be drawn, pointing to the “black box” of the gap between the high level aspirations of the NHI Bill, and the realities of primary health care on the ground. This gap is where research is crucial to map our way incrementally towards more equitable healthcare, through a structured learning process.

COPC4NHI Webinar 25 Oct 2023 – Reid COPC & NHI

Prof Steve Reid

Prof Steve Reid is a family physician with a background in rural medicine, having worked and run a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal for 10 years together with his wife, Dr Janet Giddy. He is an advocate for rural health in South Africa, and as such is involved in medical education and human resources for health. He took up the post of Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Primary Health Care at the University of Cape Town in 2010 and is developing this role to support medical and health science graduates to become more relevant and appropriately skilled in Africa.  As a musician, he is also interested in the medical humanities and the role of the arts in medicine. His inaugural lecture in 2011 was titled “The Music of Health for All”, and he is involved in developing the role of the arts and social sciences in health care through Medical Humanities within the African context. He is a recognized expert in a range of other related fields including primary health care; health equity through education & research; family medicine in Africa; compulsory community service; district health systems; resilience in health workers; community-based education; community oriented primary care; and developing the next generation of leaders in health. Underpinning much of his work is his interest in social accountability and is the founder of several initiatives to support healthcare professionals from various disciplines who are willing to live and work in underserved areas. He is the Interim HOD for the Department of Family, Community and Emergency Care whose guiding principle is to build communities of care together.


COPC4NHI is a Research Group of the Department of Family Medicine & Primary Care, University of Witwatersrand, covering everything between PHC and National Health Insurance (NHI), (South Africa’s attempt at improving UHC) with an emphasis on community-orientation. Are you interested in joining these webinars regularly and/or joining the research group that meets afterwards? See webpage for more