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.

A profession in peril? Revitalising nursing in South Africa

A profession in peril? Revitalising nursing in South Africa

Rispel and Bruce provide an analytical perspective on nurses and nursing in South Africa in this chapter in the 2014/15 South African Health Review. They also discuss critical issues to be addressed by health policy-makers and practitioners in order to revitalise the profession. ...
Know the Facts! Rural Health Factsheet 2015

Know the Facts! Rural Health Factsheet 2015

The new rural health fact sheet is out! All you need to know about rural health in one document. Contact RHAP to propose additions for the 2016 version. RHAP Rural Health Fact Sheet 2015 web ...

Improving access to antiretrovirals in rural South Africa – a call to action

In this editorial published this week in the SAMJ, RHAP and other health scientists, advocates and health care providers call for improved access to ARVs in rural areas, notably through rural nurse prescribing and dispensing legislation. Improving access to antiretrovirals in rural South Africa – a call to action South Africa (SA) already has t ...
Global Health Action Special Issue on Transforming Nursing in South Africa

Global Health Action Special Issue on Transforming Nursing in South Africa

The papers below are part of the Special Issue: Transforming Nursing in South Africa. http://www.globalhealthaction.net Published online: 11 May 2015 Utilisation and costs of nursing agencies in the South African public health sector 2005-2010 Using diaries to explore the work experiences of primary health care nursing in two South African prov ...

Press Statement: Support for healthcare workers working in precarious situations is needed not vilification

The Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) would like to express our serious concern in relation to the suspension from duty of two doctors from Evander Hospital in Mpumalanga for performing an emergency perimortem caesarian section in the hospital’s labour ward. RuDASA firstly extends heartfelt condolences to the family of the m ...
The Scope of Practice for Clinical Associates have been promulgated

The Scope of Practice for Clinical Associates have been promulgated

After a very long wait and many calls by PACASA, RHAP and others, the Scope of practice regulations Clinical Associates – 250515 have finally been promulgated. A critical step for the future of this new health cadre in making a difference in the many understaffed facilities across the country. ...
Press Release: The RHAP calls for the protection of critical health services whilst the North West Department of Health is put under administration

Press Release: The RHAP calls for the protection of critical health services whilst the North West Department of Health is put under administration

Chronically underserved rural populations will bear the brunt as a result of embargoes on hiring staff, maintaining infrastructure and upgrading equipment At the beginning of the 2015/16 financial year the North West Provincial Government placed the provincial department of health, along with other key service departments such as public works a ...

Resuscitating an ethical climate in the health system: The role of healthcare workers

By Dr Prinitha Pillay. Abstract: South Africa boasts a proud tradition of healthcare professionals speaking out against injustice in line with the medical doctrine of beneficence (to do good) and maleficence (do no harm). There are many who play a part in making the health system better, including the state, managers, patients and healthcare wo ...
If SA is Winning Where are all its Prized Doctors?

If SA is Winning Where are all its Prized Doctors?

In response to the earlier feature in the Sunday Times ‘SA is the winner as local doctors stay put” (22 March 2015) RHAP’s Director Marije Versteeg-Mojanaga questions if we are really “winning” in this letter covered in the Sunday Times of 5 April. Your article “SA is the winner as local doctors stay put” (22 March ...
Free State protest for community health workers

Free State protest for community health workers

Bloemfontein recently came to a standstill as community health workers (CHW) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marched to the magistrate’s court in support of 118 health workers arrested in July last year. Read the full story by Palesa Butler, guest author for Health-e News. ...