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National Health Act, 2003 (Act No. 61 of 2003)


National Health Insurance Policy towards Universal Health Coverage

Chapter 6 : Reorganisation of the Health Care System and Services under NHI

6.3 Enhancing the Health Workforce


176. A number of strategies have been implemented to increase the production of health professionals, including expanding the platforms for international collaboration such as with the Mandela-Castro Collaboration Program in Cuba. A range of health professionals working in the private sector will be engaged through innovative contractual arrangements to contribute to addressing the human resources gap.


177. Medical schools will also be supported to increase their intake of students as part of broader human resources for health production strategy of increasing health professionals’ throughput. In collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training, provision of scholarships for health science students will be increased. Post-graduate training and specialisation will be supported through, amongst other strategies, additional registrar posts.


178. The primary training platform for nursing training will be at nursing colleges located inside hospitals to provide a platform for practical training at the hospital bedside. Additional nursing colleges will be opened to increase the training numbers for nurses and related professionals. Relevant legislation and regulations governing the nursing profession and its education sector have been identified and reviewed in partnership with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and South African Nursing Council (SANC). SANC will strengthen its role in determining the practice standards of the Nursing profession.


179. Adequate provision must be made for other (allied) healthcare professionals registered through the HPCSA to ensure that the needs of the population are met. Additionally the need arising from the school health programme requires adequate numbers of these categories of health professionals.


180. Whilst it is important to increase the quantity and quality of health professionals to meet local needs, it will be equally important to ensure that those recruited are satisfied and motivated enough to be productive and likely to be retained. Improving the quality of life of health professionals working in rural areas will require a multi-sectoral response to providing basic social infrastructure and amenities.