Organisational Health responsibilities | What is Organisational Health? | Why do we need Organisational Health? |
Where does the Organisational Health section fit into UCT? | How is Organisational Health governed? |
The principles of Organisational Health | What is UCT's Organisational Health vision? | The Organisational Health model | Useful links

Organisational Health responsibilities

  • UCT health-related activities (or activities which can be accessed by UCT staff)
  • Lifestyle challenges or wellness screenings
  • Off-campus lectures
  • UCT health-related news - from occupational health; DISCHO; HR, Discovery Health etc:
    • The health of UCT
    • Legislation which impacts on health or how it will be delivered
    • Medical aid news
    • Organisational health activities

What is Organisational Health?

Organisational health provides a mechanism for institutions such as UCT to view health issues from a strategic perspective and to then provide appropriate health services which leads to:

  • Integration of health-related matters
  • Efficient and effective delivery of health care
  • UCT being seen as a caring organisation
  • UCT having the capacity to deal with complex issues such as HIV & AIDS and incapacity

Why do we need Organisational Health?

Health-related matters impact institutions in many ways.

  • Legislation: compliance with many acts such as the Occupational Health and Safety, Labour Relations Act, Employment Equity and Basic Conditions of Employment. The Organisational Health section helps to interpret and provide guidance to the institution to enable it to react appropriately.
  • Corporate governance: The King II report and global reporting initiative have a number of health-related issues which require attention from institutions.
  • World class delivery from the Human Resources Department. For institutions to deal with people effectively, HR and line managers need to be conversant and comfortable in dealing with health-related issues, so that people who are ill or having problems are managed sensitively.
  • Costs of healthcare continue to spiral. South African corporate organisations are spending about 10% of their wage bill on medical aid subsidies. Organisational Health helps to manage these costs, and promotes healthy living habits in order to reduce the cost impacts on medical aids.
  • HIV & AIDS: this devastating disease needs to be carefully managed to ensure an "AIDS-friendly" environment. This will allow people with HIV & AIDS to be as productive as possible for as long as possible (bearing in mind that UCT needs to remain a sustainable organisation).

Where does the Organisational Health section fit into UCT?

The Organisational Health section is an integral part of UCT's HR Department.

It is headed up by Ms Blanche Claasen-Hoskins x5685 or

Ms Susan Williams x4376 or

Dr Tony Davidson is an external consultant in organisational health.

The Organisational Health section works with people and departments where functions overlap (such as the Occupational Health section, Risk Management and Campus Protection Services). Working with Human Resources Practitioners, Organisational Health influences the manner in which people with health related problems are managed. We also work with union representatives and bodies such as DISCHO, HAICU etc.

How is Organisational Health governed?

The Organisational Health Consultative Forum (OHCF) is an officially constituted UCT body. It comprises representatives from all areas including:

  • Acting Executive Director, HR (Chair), Mr Bongani Ndaba
  • Representative of the academic's union.
  • Representative of the UCT Employees Union
  • Representative of NEHAWU.
  • UCT staff member/trustee
  • Member of staff to provide finance/audit expertise, Delfina de Gois
  • Representatives of UCT pensioners, currently G Redfern
  • Acting: Director Staff Wellbeing & Reward, Ms Blanche Claasen-Hoskins
  • Head of Remuneration and HR policy, Ms Margie Tainton
  • Organisational Health and Retirement Manager, Ms Blanche Claasen-Hoskins
  • Consultants: PSGKonsult Corporate (Mr S Appasamy, Ms C Brand & Ms D Wilson), Dr Tony Davidson (Org Health Doctor)
  • Healthcare Specialist, Ms Debra De Gouveia-Meyer
  • Org Health Specialist, Ms Susan Williams
  • Invitees as required

The key function of the OHCF is to ensure that the organisational health strategy is relevant to UCT's needs. It also has an oversight function and regularly reviews the performance of the service providers of UCT'S health related service providers (including Discovery Health medical scheme, Sanlam income continuation benefit, HIV services) as well as the activities of the Organisational Health section.

The principles of Organisational Health

The people associated with Organisational Health are exposed to very sensitive information and it is thus essential that all parties trust the people working in this department. Professional and ethical standards must be maintained, and to ensure this we subscribe to the following principles and methods:

  • Confidentiality - all information is regarded as sensitive, and is not shared with any third party without the permission of the person providing the information.
  • Client- or patient-centric approach - guidance and decisions are based on the health needs of the person.
  • Equity - we strive to provide all UCT employees with equitable access to organisational health resources.
  • Preventive and pro-active approach to health.
  • Empower people to take personal responsibility for their health.

What is UCT's organisational health vision?

  1. Organisational health resources for all staff at UCT.
    • Adequately staffed service.
    • On-site wellness, psychosocial support and occupational health services accessible to all employees.
    • Offer advice to all employees about health-related benefits.
  2. Provide support to the performance management system and use the incapacity management process effectively
    • People with underlying problems who perform poorly are recognised early, referred and managed.
    • Those who are too ill to work are assisted with care and efficiency, reducing decision-making time.
    • Those who are too ill to work are provided with access to appropriate incapacity benefits.
  3. Manage HIV and AIDS comprehensively
    • Well-educated and motivated people who manage their sexual risk appropriately.
    • Streamlined clinical management of HIV positive people.
    • In essence, HIV becomes a "routine issue" on campus.
    • Through Discovery, members can access the HIV Care Programme which provides comprehensive disease management for members living with HIV & AIDS.
  4. An ethos of wellness and self-responsibility for health exists on campus.
    • People will take part in annual personal risk assessments.
    • People will access facilities to enhance their wellness.
    • UCT has one of the highest rates of Vitality members who actively participate in their programmes.
  5. UCT understands the risk associated with its human capital
    • Has appropriate health risk management programmes in place.
    • When appropriate, the workplace will be adapted to meet the needs of incapacitated people.
    • Has an excellent work place injury administration system in place.

The organisational health model

The model integrates the five key areas of health delivery in the work place and was designed and implemented with great success within the Chamber of Mines in the late 1980s. Many industrial and commercial organisations have adapted the model to meet their own health related needs.

The integrated delivery of service allows organisations to meet the challenges of complex health issues such as HIV & AIDS, incapacity management and the management of human capital.


Organisational health model


Useful links

Page last updated: 16 May 2023