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.

HR4RH WHO Guidelines – The SA Context

HR4RH WHO Guidelines – The SA Context

Following the release of the WHO guidelines in 2012 on the recruitment and retention of human resources for health to rural areas, the RHAP, RuRESA, RuDASA, AHP, Wits Centre for Rural Health, UKZN Centre for Rural Health and UCT: PHC Directorate contextualised the guidelines to the South African context. Read the recommendations here: Human Res ...
Resourcing Rural Areas for the Right to Health

Resourcing Rural Areas for the Right to Health

Address by RHAP at the TAC Annual General Meeting. On the 18 of April 2013 Marije Versteeg from the Rural Health Advocacy Project gave a plenary presentation at the TAC AGM at Booysens Hotel. Rural areas continue to suffer from persistent inequities in health care. The most deprived districts in the country are all rural, yet the primary health ...

Rural-proofing the commuted overtime policy for medical practitioners.

The success of many of the new health initiatives underway, such as the NHI, PHC Re-Engineering and the new NSP for HIV, TB and STIs stand or fall with the availability of sufficient health care workers in rural areas. This is underlined by hte new HRH Strategy for South Africa, launched in October 2012. Burn-out and better working conditions i ...

IST reports on the state of the health system and the public’s right to know

More than a year after their finalisation and after many frustrated attempts by civil society organisations and the media to access them – including through the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 – SECTION27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) have finally been leaked copies of all the provincial reports compiled by the Integ ...