In the 80s, the country had Regions which were later demarcated into the nine (9) Provinces as we know them today and NPPHCN had offices in all the Regions in the country. With the advent of Democracy in the early 90s, the funding structure changed dramatically and financial resources were directed more towards central coffers of the Government. Organisations like NPPHCN were affected negatively by this and as a result, most NPPHCN Regional offices had to shut down. The KwaZulu Natal office remained intact and was reconfigured into a Provincial organisation (KZNPPHC) and registered as a Non-Profit organisation. KZNPPHC was involved in pioneering Community Health Care-Based programmes in the Province, including Community Health Workers (oNompilo).
"To provide quality comprehensive Primary Health Care services through Advocacy and Capacity Development that enables communities to engage in healthy lifestyle activities."
NPPHCN was a national network which drew membership from across all health and allied professional and civil fronts. Membership came from professional bodies/Associations, the general community, students and civil structures.
At the heart of the Advocacy and Lobby Agenda for NPPHCN was the struggle for health care which responded to the needs of the majority.
Under the Apartheid regime, most health care services were centralised and almost entirely curative, and therefore inaccessible and did not address the conditions of the impoverished people, especially rural communities, particularly women. Oppressed citizens had no say in their own health care and women were denied relevant essential care.
In its advocacy and lobbying, NPPHCN was involved in the development of the District Health System (DHS), where health care was decentralised to all Regions (at the time), and later to Provinces. It is this system which saw the establishment of the National Health Policy and Primary Health Care System (PHC), in which health care was made accessible to all through stationary and mobile clinics and the creation of Home and Community-Based Care.
NPPHCN was instrumental is ensuring that the pillars of Primary Health Care (PHC) which are accessibility, affordability and participation (community involvement), are firmly positioned in the health care system evident today. Unlike centralised health care, Primary Health Care is a progressive and comprehensive system which approaches health care by prevention of disease, promotion and maintenance of health, rehabilitation and palliative care to minimise disability due to disease.
The District Health System, with its focus on Primary Health Care, is the basis for the current Health Care System in the country.