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Valuing human resources: Key to the success of a national health insurance system


  • Laetitia C Rispel
  • Peter Barron


Human resources for health (HRH) are critical to health systems development and functioning but South Africa faces a crisis of production, recruitment, retention and management. In October 2011 the Minister of Health released a five-year national HRH strategy. Although this is an important advance in recognising and describing the HRH crisis, information gaps remain and there is still uncertainty about effective strategies and interventions to address the problems. This paper triangulates information from three sources: a 2009 health systems assessment; an analysis of the 2011 national HRH strategy and the 2011 Green Paper on National Health Insurance against the assessment criteria used in the 2009 assessment; and an analysis of qualitative data obtained from 1200 front-line nurses. The authors argue that addressing the human resource challenges at structural, system and management levels is critical to the success of any future national health insurance system.

Suggested Citation

  • Laetitia C Rispel & Peter Barron, 2012. "Valuing human resources: Key to the success of a national health insurance system," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 616-635, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:29:y:2012:i:5:p:616-635
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2012.730974

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