n South African Medical Journal - Health technology assessment - a new initiative in South Africa : correspondence

Volume 100, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



From a clinical perspective, technology is expected to reduce the risk of disease, reduce duration of illness, improve quality of care, increase access and restore, or limit the decay of, a person's quality of life. Technology is also expected to contain costs and improve interventional risk management through enhancement of service efficiency and productivity of health care professionals. As health technology evolves, so does the need to assess its impact on patients' health outcomes, hospital operations, and financial resources. This process leads to the evolution of health technology assessment (HTA), which is a systematic evaluation of properties, effects and other consequences of health care technology. Its purpose is to provide objective information for supporting health care decisions and policy-making at international, national, provincial and health facility levels. An effective HTA programme produces good-quality information and analysis, and then effectively uses this information and knowledge to influence decision-makers in health care systems.

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