Human Resources Strategy for Health

The Minister of Health (Aaron Motsoaledi) launched the “Human Resources Strategy for Health” at Wits University on the 11th of October 2011. PHASA exec member Julia Moorman attended the presentation.

In her preamble to the document, the Director General, Precious Matsoso, acknowledges that poor working environments, skills gaps and the use of inappropriate policy tools that have failed to provide the best incentives to optimise the performance of health care workers have led to poor health outcomes in South Africa. This strategy aims to develop a health workforce that ensures access to health care for all South Africans and hence improvement of health outcomes. This document aims to guide future action and support other health care initiatives such as the re-engineering of primary health care and national health insurance.

The strategy addresses eight strategic priorities:

  1. Providing proactive leadership to achieve the objectives of the strategy
  2. Providing health worker information to support planning for HRH
  3. Provide a workforce for new service strategies
  4. Upscale and re-vitalise education, training and research
  5. Strengthen academic health complexes and nursing colleges
  6. Effectively manage the health workforce
  7. Develop a workforce that delivers quality services with care and compassion
  8. Promote access to health care professionals in rural and remote areas

Of particular interest for public health specialists and professionals are the activities to provide a workforce for new service strategies and the focus on primary health care. Public Health Units will be established in the National and Provincial Departments of Health to develop public health strategies for each province and all districts.

The document is available at http://www.doh.gov.za/docs/stratdocs/2011/hrh_strategy.pdf

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