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Friday, May 27, 2022

New PhD graduate for CHP

30 January

CHP researcher Bronwyn Harris recently completed her PhD entitled: “Not just health: Narrating access to post-apartheid health care as a matter of restorative justice”. In this thesis, she situates access to post-apartheid health care as a matter of restorative justice, part of South Africa’s broader transitional justice agenda to ‘bring’ justice in the aftermath of apartheid.


Drawing on ethnographic observations and access narratives from patients and providers in antiretroviral, tuberculosis and maternal services, she argues that a restorative approach requires a health system that does with providers (rather than to or for them) as much as providers who do with patients.


She suggests that accountability is an important dimension of access to health care, alongside the affordability, availability and acceptability of services. Furthermore, collective accountability is needed to repair human relationships and problematise power at the interface not only of individual patients and providers, but also communities and the health system.


Bronwyn recommends an ongoing ‘sensemaking conversation’ between the fields of transitional justice, and health policy and systems research alongside an invitation to ‘haunting’ - to seeking out and listening to that which cannot be said, yet cannot be forgotten.


She will graduate with her PhD at the midyear Wits Health Sciences Faculty graduation ceremony.

Click here to read the abstract. Also view our policy brief page for two policy briefs on this work.