A comprehensive occupational health service (OHS) should ideally be focused on preventive functions and be informed by good practice for the context in which it is delivered. This is challenge for many countries like South Africa that are facing the quadruple burden of disease with limited resources and have to make informed decisions that will ensure optimum use of resources within the health sector. OHSs tend to be neglected to non-existent in many of these settings especially in those countries that struggle with providing basic health services to the general population. A model is presented here that highlights the potential for an OHS at district level within the public health sector delivering an integrated OHS offering basic primary care services and some selected specialist services for the South African workforce.Methods
This is a conceptual model which has been through various stages of development from a simple ‘health laboratory’ focus to the current consideration regarding its application for the delivery of evidence based, integrated OHS.Results
The model will be visually explicit when presented in a poster format. It will highlight the innovative nature of the model especially in the context of the existing district health service.Discussion
The delivery of OHS in resource constrained settings remain a challenge for the health sector in South Africa. This conceptual model offers an innovative approach with regards to utilising an existing platform to deliver OHS as part of the Primary Health Care re-engineering process shaping current local health services. It will stimulate discussion on opportunities within the South African Public health sector to consider the delivery of occupational health services going forward.