New report reveals how South Africa’s nursing crisis can be solved in rural areas 

Today, on International Nurse Day, RHAP launched a report titled Nursing Community Service: The Answer to Rural Health System Challenges? This report looks at the challenges facing nursing in South Africa, such as deteriorating study and working conditions, loss of incentives, lack of financial support, and poor ethical leadership. This could have dire consequences for the health system and the realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). 

The report emphasizes the potential of the community service program to address staffing shortages and health needs in rural areas. It recommends a participatory community service policy that considers rural communities’ needs and perspectives. 

The report also highlights the need for a strengthened National Department of Health, Human Resources and Workforce Planning Unit. This unit should work closely with provinces to ensure that community service nurses are allocated to areas where they are most needed. 

To reduce medico-legal claims related to maternity and paediatric services in rural areas, the report recommends investing in training more midwives, maternity nurses, and paediatric nurses. This is a significant step towards improving maternal and child health outcomes in rural areas. 

The report suggests that mandatory rural-friendly orientation programs and support networks for junior nurses should be implemented. These programs will provide new nurses with the necessary skills and support to work in rural areas. 

Finally, the report recommends exploring public-private accommodation models. This is critical because many nurses are deterred from working in rural areas due to a lack of affordable and safe accommodation. 

Overall, the report provides valuable insights and recommendations for addressing the nursing crisis in South Africa. It also improves healthcare in rural areas. It is an important contribution to ongoing efforts to strengthen the nursing workforce and improve health outcomes in rural areas. 

Reminder to join the webinar today, see details below: 

Date: Friday, 12 May 2023 

Time: 10:00


Find report here. 

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Phemelo Khaas