Primary health care (PHC) clinics in South Africa often struggle to reach acceptable population coverage and treatment outcomes due to insufficient financial resources. One reason for this appears to be that prospective budgets for clinics are often underestimated, and needed resources are not requested in a timely manner. In order to provide adequate resources to clinics, provincial officials require information on service costs and projected service delivery volumes. However, in South Africa there is not currently a system in place for service information to feed into the budgeting process, making it nearly impossible to create budgets that truly reflect the needs of clinics.
The primary aims of this project are: i) to develop a costing model of resource utilization and service delivery at a representative PHC clinic located in Thabo Mofutsanyana District, Free State; and ii) to develop a general tool that can be used by PHC facilities throughout the district and country to accurately estimate budget requirements based on the services that they offer and the populations they serve. A secondary aim of the project will be to investigate the impact of budgetary gaps at PHC clinics on service delivery and population outcomes using a panel of retrospective administrative data collected from clinics in Thabo Mofutsanyana District.