The Rural-Proofing Policy and Budgeting Programme (RPP)

The fundamental goal of the Rural-Proofing Policy and Budgeting Programme (RPP) is to advocate for improved access to quality health care services for all people living in rural South Africa.The RPP aims to achieve this goal by advocating for more equitable and effective planning and financing of rural health services.

In striving to achieve the goal and aim of the RPP, the following activities are at different stages of implementation:
1) The development of an evidence-based Rural Budget Strategy which is informed by a comprehensive study on the conditions of rural health financing and expenditure (current and planned), and the gap between the costs of rural health care services and current allocations.
2) The development of rural-proofing policy guidelines, based on international good practice and informed by past anti-rural policies, grassroots experiences and current key health strategies.
3) Improving awareness and buy-in among government and civil society regarding the need to rural-proof budgets and policies.
4) Rural-proofing key health developments (budget and policy) and advocate for the implementation of the RHAP’s rural-proofing recommendations.

Why RPP?

The presence of appropriate and comprehensive legislative and policy frameworks are critical for the creation of an enabling environment for achieving health and related development goals. Yet, despite numerous health-related legislative and policy changes in recent years, marked inequalities in health outcomes exist between urban and rural areas of South Africa. Rural health services remain characterised by critical staff shortages, sub-standard infrastructure and various access challenges–not least poor outreach services and lack of transport.

Historically, many well-intended health service policies in South Africa have been developed based on urban models, which are neither relevant nor appropriate to the rural setting. In many instances this has resulted in negative implications for rural health or policies have simply been impossible to implement due to the different conditions in rural area.

With the South African health system currently in transition it is thus critical that the rural health care context be taken into account during the design and implementation of health policies and strategies in order to advance the health rights of rural communities and ensure equitable outcomes.

Partners and Intervention districts

We work closely with a number of partner organisations in the RPP. These include the Treatment Action Campaign, RuDASA and RuRESA. Beyond our policy and advocacy work at national and provincial levels, the substantive research of RPP focuses on two intervention districts; uMgungundlovu in Kwazulu-Natal and OR Tambo in the Eastern Cape. Both districts have large poor populations and high burdens of disease.

For more information contact Daygan Eagar, Manager: Budgeting and Expenditure, and RPP Programme Manager at Daygan@rhap.org.za

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