Health technology assessment is a critical process in research and scientific methodology; it outlines the medical (laboratory-based), social, financial and ethical issues related to the use of a health technology in order to ensure safe, effective health policies in the interest of the patient.
A Health Technology Assessment (HTA) unit functions within the NHLS Quality Assurance Department. The primary objective of this unit is to focus on in vitro diagnostic laboratory technologies with particular reference to diagnostic reagents, analysers and point-of-care testing (POCT) technologies.
The purpose of the NHLS HTA unit is to promote and facilitate access to safe, reliable and appropriate diagnostic technologies and laboratory services in an equitable manner through:
- Prequalification of diagnostics for in vitro diagnostic devices for pathology services;
- Capacity building of supporting national regulatory authorities (SAPHRA) and national reference laboratories;
- Facilitation of procurement of affordable and appropriate diagnostics;
- Policy, guidance and advocacy to NHLS and the national Department of Health as well as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region;
- Collaboration with INAHTA and HTAi as middle income developing country;
- HTA training and technical support including internal and external participants.
HTA Tools and Resources
All requests for HTA must be directed electronically to the unit at firstname.lastname@example.org . This is the only entry point for all health technology assessments within the NHLS, including reagents, analysers and POCT technologies.
The HTA unit will coordinate the process of assessment in collaboration with the dedicated NHLS business units.