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.

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. ...
The Voice Project

The Voice Project

“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Arundhati Roy, Author and human rights activist Summary The Voice Project aims to improve access to quality rural health care by increasing the number and quality of healthcare provider change agents. As part of this initiativ ...
Rural-Proofing the Department of Health “WISN” Staffing Norms

Rural-Proofing the Department of Health “WISN” Staffing Norms

There is rural context that is applicable to many of the steps in the Workload Indicator of Staffing Needs (WISN) process, the method used by the Department of Health to indicate the staffing needs at health facilities across the country. This context needs to be incorporated, whether by modifying existing steps or creating additional steps for ...
Wiser Seminar 1 September 2014: The Broken Thread – Primary Health Care, Social Justice and the Dignity of the Health Worker

Wiser Seminar 1 September 2014: The Broken Thread – Primary Health Care, Social Justice and the Dignity of the Health Worker

Tonight Mark Heywood from SECTION27 speaks at a public WISER seminar on the missing link in realising the right to health: The Health Care Worker. RHAP and its rural partners have demonstrated in various policy submissions (on NHI, PHC) and publications that priority interventions will not achieve intended outcomes of equity and improved health ...
PRESS RELEASE. 31 August 2014. The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) supports the plight of the Free State Community Health Workers and calls for an urgent resolution to the unfair expectations on this essential primary health care cadre

PRESS RELEASE. 31 August 2014. The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) supports the plight of the Free State Community Health Workers and calls for an urgent resolution to the unfair expectations on this essential primary health care cadre

The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) supports the plight of the Free State Community Health Workers and calls for an urgent resolution to the unfair expectations on this essential primary health care cadre Tomorrow Monday 1st September, over a 100 Free State Community Health Workers (CHWs) will appear in court to be charged in relation to t ...

Certificate of Need: Too much stick, not enough carrot

In this opinion piece published in the Mail and Guardian on 25 July 2014 Daygan Eagar argues that the state’s proposed certificate of need will not address inequities in rural healthcare. During a recent consultation with the national department of health on the much-maligned promulgation of the section of the National Health Act that requires ...
Clinical Leadership, District Hospitals and Rural Health

Clinical Leadership, District Hospitals and Rural Health

This publication “Strengthening Clinical Leadership In Hospitals – A Review of the International and South African Literature ” (2013) by Jane Doherty is a must-read for anyone who has a stake in strengthening local leadership for better health care. Policy brief (download link above for full publication): The debate around pu ...
Re-Imagining Rural Health – The State of Rural Health 20 years into Democracy

Re-Imagining Rural Health – The State of Rural Health 20 years into Democracy

Originally published in the May 2014 newsletter of the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA). Daygan Eagar, Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP)’s health budget specialist and Programme Manager for the Rural-Proofing Policy and Budgeting Programme. He provides health budget and policy monitoring training to communities and civil soc ...