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SARChI Chair: Research on the Health Workforce for Equity and Quality

The first South African DSI/NRF Research Chair at a South African or African University to focus exclusively on the health workforce. The Chair is held by Professor Laetitia Rispel, who works with a small team of dedicated and committed health systems researchers.

Our vision is that the Chair would be a national and international hub of excellence on health workforce research, informed and enriched by the South African and African context. Our research is underpinned by the values of health equity, social justice and quality.

Why focus on the health workforce?

The health workforce (also known as human resources for health=HRH], is defined as “all persons engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance health”, and includes both direct health service providers as well as administration and support workers (WHO 2006).

HRH are at the core of health systems, ensuring health and well-being of communities and entire nations. The health workforce is central in translating the vision of universal health coverage (UHC) into reality. UHC is one of the important targets contained in the 2015 sustainable development goals (United Nations 2015). UHC aims to ensure that everyone is able to access the health care services they need irrespective of their ability to pay (WHO 2018).