Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Overcoming fragmentation and waste in health care systems in Africa: Collaboration of health care professionals with pastoral caregivers

Emem Agbiji, Christina Landman
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 2 | a2654 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i2.2654 | © 2014 Emem Agbiji, Christina Landman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2014 | Published: 07 November 2014

About the author(s)

Emem Agbiji, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa
Christina Landman, Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, South Africa

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This article explores the possibility and limits of collaboration between medical professionals and pastoral caregivers with a view to overcoming fragmentation and waste in the African hospital care sector. It argues that the quality of health and health care in many African countries is poor. Therefore, a purposeful reform of health care delivery systems in Africa is necessary. Building on the World Health Organization’s statement that the medical model that focuses on medicine and surgery and ignores the factors of belief and faith in healing is no longer satisfactory, it further argues that the medical model (including the bio-psychosocial model) is not sufficient for holistic hospital care; it therefore needs to accommodate complementary approaches (such as pastoral care) and include these as collaborative treatments. The connection of collaboration with quality, value, relationships and the ending of life implies that collaboration is an ethical process of reflection – which could have a legal implication.


Pastoral care; Medical science; Healthcare systems; Collaboration; Fragmentatiom; Waste


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