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.

Report on Rural Health Imbizo in Dr RSM District, NW Province, 21 May 2016

On 21 May the RHAP together with RuDASA hosted a rural health imbizo in one of the most rural districts in the country, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati (Dr RSM) District in North West Province. Over 100 community members from around 14 villages attended the Imbizo, some represented NGO’s operating in the area, others represented community health work ...
Strengthening rural health placements for medical students: Lessons for South Africa from international experience

Strengthening rural health placements for medical students: Lessons for South Africa from international experience

By J E Doherty and I Couper. South Africa Corresponding author: J E Doherty (dohertyj@telkomsa.net) Background. This article published in the SAMJ, May 2016, derives lessons from international experience of innovative rural health placements for medical students. It provides pointers for strengthening South African undergraduate rural health pr ...
Medical schools selection criteria and medical students’ demographic profile.

Medical schools selection criteria and medical students’ demographic profile.

This publication in the South African Medical Journal of January 2016 presents important research findings on the current state of selection criteria and medical students’ demographic profile. It concludes that selection policies for undergraduate medical programmes aimed at redress should be continued and further refined, along with with ...
RHAP Press Statement: 2016 Budget Speech Provides Commitment and Guidance on the Protection of Critical Health Posts

RHAP Press Statement: 2016 Budget Speech Provides Commitment and Guidance on the Protection of Critical Health Posts

RHAP Press Statement 25 February 2016 2016 Budget Speech Provides Commitment and Guidance on the Protection of Critical Health Posts Following our repeated calls[1] for the protection of critical health posts, the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) welcomes the clear message sent by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in his Budget Speech ...
Press Statement: The RHAP welcomes the Health Minister’s statement on staffing moratoria and calls for the protection of critical health posts in times of austerity

Press Statement: The RHAP welcomes the Health Minister’s statement on staffing moratoria and calls for the protection of critical health posts in times of austerity

The RHAP welcomes the Health Minister’s statement on staffing moratoria and calls for the protection of critical health posts in times of austerity 9 February 2016 The RHAP welcomes the Minister’s statement[1] to the press dated 8 February in which he responds to allegations of “frozen posts” in the health system. In his response the Minister w ...

Minister says: No Moratorium on Medical Posts

No Moratorium on Medical Posts. 8 February 2016 The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi is highly disturbed by media reports that suggest that medical posts are frozen in the country. The report claims that medical posts are frozen in Mpumalanga; Free State; North West; Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal, according to the SA Medical Associati ...
Health-E Raises Alarm on Frozen Posts following RHAP Investigation

Health-E Raises Alarm on Frozen Posts following RHAP Investigation

The Big Chill: Health post freeze threatens services by Laura Lopez Gonzalez on February 1, 2016  in Health Funding, Health Management, News Facing a R9-billion shortfall just to meet salary demands, provincial health departments are freezing posts. Whether couched openly in memos or hidden between the lines of spiralling bureaucracy, staff fre ...
Causes, implications and possible responses to the implementation of staffing moratoria in the public health system in South Africa during times of budget austerity

Causes, implications and possible responses to the implementation of staffing moratoria in the public health system in South Africa during times of budget austerity

The purpose of this working paper is to draw attention to the causes, consequences and possible responses to the implementation of moratoria on the filling of posts within the health system. Human resource moratoria, also referred to as the ‘freezing of posts’, have become an increasingly common occurrence within the public health system over t ...