Helping to plan for, find and keep the workforce needed to deliver health for all.
AHP is a social profit organisation that works with the South African government and civil society organisations to find solutions to Human Resources for Health challenges.
AHP runs a Retention Programme, which is aligned with the Department of Health’s policies, to address some of the underlying causes of the high attrition rates in rural healthcare. Ultimately the programme aims to create a more sustainable workforce in rural South Africa.
Retention Officers work on the ground in nine rural districts (out of 52 across the country) and one sub-district.
AHP has Retention Officers in:
Transferring skills to Department of Health district management teams with a focus on human resource management elements form an important part of the programme. The programme prioritises local capacity building and systems strengthening to ensure sustainable solutions are implemented to address the underlying causes that affect attrition so that more healthcare workers are retained in rural areas.
Retention is impacted by myriad factors. To target key points of leverage, AHP runs HRH Assist ─ a HR capacity building programme aimed at improving the retention of health workers.
As part of this programme, AHP adapted a corporate retention survey with health workers in a district. In this way, AHP and management are able to assess which attributes of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) are weakest and resulting in the loss of skills. Custom-created capacity building initiatives are then run by AHP to improve management around the weakest EVP areas.
AHP, partnering with a culture strategy consultancy, has designed 21 such initiatives around three key EVP attributes that were identified through the 2013 Retention Survey results as focus areas that needed to be addressed to improve retention. These focus areas are:
In 2014, AHP hosted 277 capacity building sessions which were attended by 4 682 district and facility managers to address these focus areas.
By repeating the retention survey, AHP can measure the extent to which initiatives have improved the EVP and, thus, the retention of key skills.
AHP also offers troubleshooting support to facilities around key retention issues and organises relevant Continued Professional Development (CPD) sessions for health workers to reduce professional and personal isolation. In 2014 AHP organised 147 such sessions.