oa South African Health Review - Human Resources for Health for South Africa : HRH Strategy for the Health Sector 2012/13 - 2016/17

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



This chapter provides the context for development of South Africa's (SA) Human Resources for Health (HRH) Strategy for the Health Sector 2012/13 - 2016/17, a brief description of some of the key trends and challenges for HRH in SA, and the strategic priorities of this strategy.

An overview of trends in and challenges for HRH for SA is grouped into three themes in which key issues are highlighted and brief recommendations which informed the HRH strategy are made. These themes are supply of health professionals and equity of access; education, training and research; and the working environment of the health workforce.
Eight priorities were identified which form the framework for the HRH strategy: leadership, governance and accountability; health workforce information and health workforce planning; re-engineering of the workforce to meet service needs; upscaling and revitalising education, training and research; creating infrastructure for workforce and service development - Academic Health Complexes and nursing colleges; strengthening and professionalising the management of human resources (HR) and prioritising health workforce needs; ensuring professional, quality care through oversight, regulation and continuing professional development; and improving access to health professionals and health care in rural and remote areas. Each of these are discussed.
The strategy document is a guide to action and requires participation of all stakeholders to make it a 'living' document which enables improvement in HRH. The long-term future of the health sector will be determined by our actions in relation to HR in the short term, specifically in the next five years.

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