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.

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 ...

Austerity measures may leave SA’s next generation of health workers unemployed

Austerity measures may leave SA’s next generation of health workers unemployed 16 Jan 2017 00:00 By: Joan van Dyk Original source: http://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-01-16-00-austerity-measures-may-leave-sas-next-generation-of-health-workers-unemployed Some pharmacists will be doing their community service at private pharmacies amid a shor ...
307 interns are still without an offer of employment for 2017 due to budget cuts

307 interns are still without an offer of employment for 2017 due to budget cuts

The RHAP is very concerned but not surprised about the news that broke this morning that 307 interns are still without an offer of employment for 2017 due to budget cuts (point 8 below). While the memo below refers to the education crisis as the main reason for the budget cut (point 9), this is symptomatic for a broader problem: the overall und ...
MTBPS 2016: The Rural Health Advocacy Project warns against further health service cuts to those most in need following continued fiscal consolidation

MTBPS 2016: The Rural Health Advocacy Project warns against further health service cuts to those most in need following continued fiscal consolidation

Rural Health Advocacy Project Press Statement MTBPS 2016: The Rural Health Advocacy Project warns against further health service cuts to those most in need following continued fiscal consolidation 27 October 2016 Following the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) by Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, on 26 October 2016, we reflect in t ...