We seek to address the shortage of qualified healthcare professionals at rural hospitals to improve healthcare delivery to rural communities through the identification, training and support of rural youth who have an interest in and ability to become qualified healthcare workers and will, upon graduating, return to work at their local, rural hospital.
The process works as follows:
- We identify suitable candidates by means of outreaches to rural schools where we inform pupils of health sciences as a career opportunity, as well as by evaluating high school graduates who have already obtained a place at a university.
- Learners who are interested in studying a health science degree are invited to attend the Hospital Open Day were they meet various healthcare professionals and learn more about the different professions and how a hospital runs.
- Learners are required to apply to university themselves and in order to be considered for our support they need to do one week’s voluntary work at the hospital and attend the selection interviews
- Once a student becomes part of the programme they receive comprehensive financial support, as well as academic- and social mentorship.
- Once UYDF students graduate we ensure that they obtain positions at local hospitals to allow them to honour their work back contracts.
- We support graduates with their integration into the hospital working environment, as well as their on-going professional development.
We conduct research into rural health recruitment and retention to inform and improve our operational structure and through our work seek to influence the recruitment and training of healthcare professionals for rural practise.