Goal 3: Human Resources for Rural Health

Every rural citizen has adequate access to caring, qualified health care teams

South Africa, as many countries worldwide, is faced with a severe crisis in terms of human resources for health. Inequities exist in the distribution of human resources between the private and public sectors as well as rural and urban areas. About 60% of the nurses and 40% of the doctors serve 85% of the population using the public health sector. Vacancy rates are the worst in rural provinces, with the three most rural provinces having the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios. Inequities also exist within rural provinces and districts, with wide variations in staffing levels between facilities leading to inefficient use of scarce health care workers. At the same time, the demand for health care services has increased, primarily due to the HIV and TB epidemics. The impact on poor communities is severe; ranging from long waiting times, unnecessary referrals, poor quality of care to avoidable deaths. Innovative, pro-equity and comprehensive strategies are required to promote adequate levels of care and rural recruitment and retention of health care workers.

The activities under this strategic objective are aimed at ensuring an equitable distribution of adequately trained, supported and caring health care workers to underserved rural areas.

No time for emergencies

No time for emergencies

SA’s grandmothers are breadwinners in their old age, and their inability to access decent healthcare quickly impacts on their children,  grandchildren and their entire  communities. Health-e News’ Kim Harrisberg reports. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/no-time-for-emergencies-20170507-2 Six elderly women sit inside a corrugated iron shac ...
Health budget fails to address HR crisis

Health budget fails to address HR crisis

In the tabling of the national department of health’s budget for 2017/2018, minister of health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, delivered an impassioned address about a health system in transition to achieving universal access. Few could argue with the minister on the need for radical reform of a health system where socio economic status is still a key de ...
New Strategic Framework: 2017-2021

New Strategic Framework: 2017-2021

After a consultative process that included stakeholder consultations, internal and external evaluations, the RHAP Board has adopted the 5 year strategic framework for the period 2017-2021.  Vision: Rural Communities Accessing Equitable and Quality Health Care Mission: Promoting, Protecting and Realising the Right to Rural Health Care by Connect ...
PRESS RELEASE: ECDoH commitment to allocate 4 doctors at ailing Canzibe Hospital from July welcomed but crisis management needed now to bridge June month with 1 doctor left

PRESS RELEASE: ECDoH commitment to allocate 4 doctors at ailing Canzibe Hospital from July welcomed but crisis management needed now to bridge June month with 1 doctor left

The Rural Health Advocacy Project welcomes the news that the Eastern Cape Department of Health is recruiting four doctors to work at the 120-bed Canzibe District Hospital in OR Tambo District, in the Eastern Cape. Three of the four doctors are expected to start by 1 July. This comes after months of advocacy by various parties and through variou ...
ECHCAC welcomes undertakings to appoint three doctors to Canzibe Hospital by July 2017

ECHCAC welcomes undertakings to appoint three doctors to Canzibe Hospital by July 2017

Canzibe Hospital is a 120 bed hospital in Nqeleni area in the Eastern Cape. For some time, the hospital has experienced a severe shortage of doctors and rehabilitation specialists. The shortage has meant that outreach services were halted and remaining doctors overworked and under-supported. ECHCAC member, the Rural Health Advocacy Project (“RH ...
Cutting Human Resources for Health – Who Pays?

Cutting Human Resources for Health – Who Pays?

This report shows both the gravity and the complexity of the HRH crisis for rural communities in South Africa. While many of the challenges described affect health services at all levels and in urban and peri-urban areas as well, it is clear that rural South Africans are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of staffing cuts, and disproportionatel ...

Open letter to Minister Motsoaledi: Please support healthcare workers to speak out

The Rural Health Advocacy Project has written an open letter to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi challenging him to support healthcare workers to speak out, saying failing to do so could see many more cases like those in the Life Esidimeni saga. By SAMANTHA KHAN-GILLMORE. This year, 2017, has started off with a bang on all fronts for South Afri ...
Advocacy for Health: An educators guide to incorporating advocacy into the health sciences curriculum

Advocacy for Health: An educators guide to incorporating advocacy into the health sciences curriculum

Rural patients often bear the brunt of a vicious cycle.  Their local health systems need more resources and healthcare workers with inside knowledge to speak out about health care failures; but the shortages of health care workers make them feel vulnerable to speak out. Whilst healthcare workers can be agents of change, many lack the motivation ...
Rural Recruitment and Retention: Why are we not winning?

Rural Recruitment and Retention: Why are we not winning?

While the Department of Health has started work on a new plan for HRH, what we have achieved in the past 5 years? Sadly, the picture is bleak and progress is hampered by a combination of factors: ranging from lack of NDoH prioritisation and capacity; National Health Council resolutions on rural health education and task teams that are not follo ...
RHAP Submission on the Draft Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs 2017-2022

RHAP Submission on the Draft Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs 2017-2022

In this submission to SANAC, we identify critical gaps in the draft NSP and its treatment of rural contexts and communities. While many of the interventions aimed at targeting key and vulnerable populations will undoubtedly benefit rural communities, it is important to understand rural contexts do differ from urban contexts in key ways. Rural f ...