About the Conference
The Rural Health Conference has been an annual event since 1996. Initially started as a conference for rural doctors by RuDASA (Rural Doctor’s Association of South Africa) it has grown into a vibrant meeting of doctors, nurses, therapists, clinical associates, students, NGOs and University lecturers interested in improving health care in rural areas.
In 2013 the annual RuDASA Conference was renamed as the annual Rural Health Conference with Rural Rehab South Africa (RuRESA) and the Professional Association of Clinical Associates (PACASA) joining officially as annual conference partners. RuNurSA (Rural Nursing South Africa) joined as a partner in 2016.
The overarching aim of the Rural Health Conference is to create a platform for rural health practitioners, partners and stakeholders across the country to connect, share experiences and challenges facing rural health care practitioners and communities, learn from one another, and advocate for good practice. We are guided by RHAP (Rural Health Advocacy programme) to ensure that the conference recognises the diversity of South Africa, the importance of advocating for better services, and seeking presentations on innovations in care and service provision.
The conference usually takes place in September and consists of a 3 day programme of presentations, workshops, and AGMS, as well as evening meals and events. We are usually registered for 16 + CPD points. The conference rotates between the Provinces so that health workers have equal opportunities to be able to attend a conference. It always takes place in a small town in a rural area, to remind us all about being rural aware ! Moving Provinces also enables us to learn about the challenges in the different areas in South Africa and how people are meeting those challenges. Newcomers to the conference are amazed at the energy and commitment of the people there, as well as our multidisciplinary approach. We really try not to have silo’s for each profession, but to come together to hear, debate and learn from each other. In addition we welcome various exhibitors and have an interesting Exhibition and Poster area.
- Bring together people working, researching, supporting, or interested in improving rural health services.; so that we can learn together.
- Develop clinicians that can advocate for improved rural health care by presentations, plenaries, panel discussions and workshops on Policy and Advocacy Issues.
- Develop skilled rural clinicians through Best Practice presentations and Skills Development workshops.
- To learn from the multidisciplinary team and identify trans-disiplinary research or solutions to challenges.
- On the Final day: identify solutions that can be circulated amongst the partners membership and DoH, identify what skills or research still need to be developed and tasking the universities to do this either through curriculum development or research.
Greening the RHC
Being green means using resources wisely and we urge you all to share accommodation and travel! Please do not book “accommodation units” just for yourself. Monitor the “Share the Drive” posts on the facebook page nearer to the start of conference to look for lifts or offer space in your car.