Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List for South Africa. Primary Health Care Level. Fifth edition, 2014
(2015; 508 pages)


Primary healthcare is the cornerstone of our health system and to essential health service delivery. The Primary Healthcare (PHC) Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) and Essential Medicines List (EML) 2014 edition provides a solid foundation, and standardised criteria guiding clinicians in the provision of essential universal PHC.

Evidence based medicine selection principles and consideration of practical implications were applied during this review. Tools summarising the evidence based changes in the PHC STGs and EML 2014 are available for use with the revised publication.

To promote transparency, in this fifth edition, revisions are accompanied by the level of evidence. All evidence based suggestions submitted through a national call for comment were deliberated. In addition, there was extensive collaboration with health experts, National Department of Health programmes and clinical societies.

In keeping with our National Drug Policy, it is the responsibility of every healthcare professional in our country to support the effective implementation of the revised guidelines. Therefore, I call on all stakeholders in the medicine management system including Provincial Departments of Health, Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committees, Health Care Managers, Supply Chain Managers, and every health care professional in South Africa to use and promote the implementation of these revised guidelines.

First printed 1996

Second edition 1998

Third edition 2003

Fourth edition 2008

Fifth edition 2014

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