The OHSC has been established in terms of the National Health Amendment Act (No 12 of 2013), to regulate compliance with norms and standards by health establishments. At the inauguration ceremony in Pretoria on January 25 2013, Dr Motsoaledi said the establishment of the office was a step in the right direction for health care in the country.

“Today marks the end of a phase and a beginning of a new era for health care in South Africa.”  He said that quality of health care was one of the essential elements to ensure the success of universal health care as proposed in the National Health Insurance.

Professor Whittaker was one of several Board Members appointed for a term of three years on the basis of his proven knowledge and experience in the field of quality assurance.

The objectives of the OHSC are to protect and promote the health and safety of users and health services by monitoring and enforcing compliance by health establishments with norms and standards prescribed by the Minister in relation to the National health system dealing with complaints.

BackgroundProfessor Stuart Whittaker

Professor Stuart Whittaker was educated at Durban Boys’ High and achieved the following academic degrees:  a BSc and UED from the University of Natal; MBChB and a Master of Medicine (MMed) from the University of Cape Town; a doctorate in Medicine (MD) from Stellenbosch University. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Community Health (Community Medicine) of the College of Medicine of South Africa (FFCH).

Professor Whittaker is the founder and Chief Executive Office of the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA), a not-for-profit organisation in Cape Town. He is a visiting Professor at the School of Public Health and Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town and extraordinary Professor in the School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria.

He is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of healthcare quality improvement and quality assurance. He is a member of the Group of Experts, the International Accreditation Council and the Board Advisory Council of ISQua (International Society for Quality in Healthcare).He is an ISQua international surveyor of external evaluation organisations and their standards.

He serves on the Board of the Regional Centre for Quality in Health Care (RCQHC) which has the aim of advancing quality of health care in the East, Central and Southern African (ECSA) regions.

He has won several awards in his professional career including the Lawrie and Flossie Adler Community Health Prize for the best dissertation by a registrar in community health among the seven South African universities which had departments of community health during 1987.In 2007 he has chosen as one of the top 25 influential leaders in the healthcare industry in South Africa by the Institute of Healthcare Managers of South Africa and in 2008 he was given the South African Medical Association Award for Extraordinary Services to Medicine.

For his specialized skills, he is frequently appointed as a temporary consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on a number of quality assurance and patient safety projects. He has vast research experience in the field of quality assurance, and has published in both South African and international peer-reviewed journals on this subject.