Technology management in the public health sector : professional view from equipment maintenance experts

18 Jan 2010

South Africa has tried various strategies to improve access, quality and cost-efficiency in the health care delivery systems. However it is clear that the optimal approach has yet to be found. It has been recognised that health technology is an important element of this transformation, and will continue to play a vital role. It is almost evident that the way health technology is managed in health care institutions directly affects the quality of treatment patients receive. Although strategic importance of technology in health care has been documented widely in scientific literature; technology planning, procurement and management have not received the attention they deserve in the transformation of health care services in the country. The survey discussed in this paper investigated health care equipment maintenance problems and associated technological constraints from point of view of health technology managers, biomedical and clinical engineers. It also provides recommendations for competitive utilisation of technology in the public health sector.