- The Department of Home Affairs set up a waiver for foreign-qualified doctors to apply through the Foreign Workforce Management Programme (FWMP).
- In February R300 000 in funding from Discovery was secured and in April, Prof Steve Reid approached Tracey Hudson to start working on the project, recruiting foreign doctors in KwaZulu-Natal.
- In May, guided by Jannie Hugo, the Rural Doctors’ Association of South Africa (RuDASA) launched the Rural Health Initiative (RHI) Recruitment Project under the auspices of the South African Academy of Family Practice (SAAFP).
- In this first year of recruitment 16 doctors were placed.
- The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) founded The Placement Project (TPP), a not-for-profit recruitment agency, in January 2006. This venture, run by Gustav Wolvaardt, Veena Pillay and funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, was based on a feasibility study done by FPD.
- Saul Kornik joined RHI as the CEO.
- RHI and TPP entered into a collaborative relationship for the recruitment of healthcare professionals for the South African public sector.
- AHP’s UK office was opened by Liz and Martin Schroder who helped AHP with visa applications from their home. Greg Lydall also started in the UK as a volunteer.
- AHP attended its first BMJ careers fair, and has attended every year since.
- RHI and TPP had four staff members each by the end of 2006.
- During 2006 a total of 119 placements were made.
- In just two years the impact of TPP and RHI was phenomenal.
- TPP was focused on the recruitment of local doctors, while RHI’s focus was on foreign-qualified doctors.
- During 2007, TPP and RHI’s recruitment project signed a joint venture agreement merging the two projects into a single public sector healthcare solution for South Africa.
- The merged project moved into new offices in Johannesburg, set up an independent advisory board (Ntondeni Ndwamato, Gustaav Wolvaardt, Jannie Hugo and Clarence Mini) and began setting the infrastructure for the growth of this concept.
- The joint venture was signed for Africa Health Placements (AHP) in July. This process was facilitated through Atlantic funding and RuDASA.
- The joint venture soon started recruiting for the Limpopo province.
- AHP was given funding by PEPFAR, Discovery, CIDA as well as Anglo American and De Beers, through Tshikululu.
- By the end of 2007 the team had grown to 10 staff members.
- A total of 222 placements were made.
- The joint venture was rebranded into AHP as it is known today.
- During 2008 consolidation and strategy were the main orders of business. The first team retreat took place, and a mission, vision and organisational culture was formulated.
- AHP grew to 16 staff members and the first two managers were hired.
- AHP’s core recruitment team all joined in 2008: Karabo, Esther and Rosanna, as well as Xoliswa the recruitment manager of the Johannesburg office.
- Therese Hansen started as AHP’s USA liaison, situated in Washington DC.
- AHP made 448 placements into underserved facilities in South Africa – this translates to over five times more doctors placed through AHP than through all eight South African medical schools combined.
- 2009 is the year AHP crossed the 1 000th placement mark, a massive press event was held to commemorate this.
- Expansion plans into Swaziland and Lesotho were formulated.
- An extensive orientation programme was designed and implementation began.
- Community service officer research was conducted.
- AHP was asked to sit on the steering committee for the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP)
- AHP visited conferences in five states in the USA.
- A tender was won for the placement of locum pharmacists into public hospitals.
- The London GP Deanery got involved with AHP, sending junior doctors to South Africa as part of an out-of-programme year.
- AHP also started consulting to Discovery Health, the Department of Health (DoH) and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
- AHP was now 24 staff members strong.
- In 2009 alone, 510 permanent and volunteer placements were made:
- 246 foreign-qualified doctors (GPs and specialists) in rural government hospitals, in government- funded posts which were previously vacant.
- 264 local-qualified health workers of all cadres who have been placed mostly in HIV/Aids clinics.
- AHP branched out into Swaziland and Lesotho where a significant impact was made in terms of placements and improving systems.
- The Swaziland Minister of Health has already made special mention of the work done there!
- New website was launched in May and a renewed presence on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Motribe and Wikipedia.
- AHP launched the Eastern Cape Rural Doctor Support Programme (ECRDSP) with great success in three districts.
- AHP has started working with PEPFAR-funded clinics to get there staff moved onto government payroll in advance of the end of PEPFAR funding so to ensure continuity of services for people living with HIV/Aids.
- The full implementation of AHP orientation and ongoing support programmes proved to be a success.
- Saul was the key-note speaker at the launch of the WHO Rural and Remote Health Recruitment and Retention Guidelines.
- AHP attended conferences in San Francisco, New Orleans, Colorado, New York, London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Belgium, Netherlands, Vienna, Swaziland, and of course, South Africa.
- AHP’s stature in HRH grew throughout 2010. AHP staff members continued to build relationships across the region and are frequently called in by and meeting health ministers and senior health officials.
- New and improved mission statement was adopted: To support and enhance public healthcare systems in Africa through the provision of human resource solutions and services. These extend beyond the recruitment, placement and retention of management and staff, to include services directed toward building sustainability, such as consulting, information services, advocacy and marketing. Recognising the value of relationships, we conduct our work through people networks that allow us to mobilise resources within southern Africa and across the world.
- The AHP team grew to 29 full-time staff members.
- Record number of placements have been made by AHP in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho: 542 placements in total -
- 115 local-qualified healthcare professionals placed in South Africa.
- 335 foreign-qualified healthcare professionals placed in South Africa.
- 50 healthcare professionals placed in Swaziland.
- 11 healthcare professionals placed in Lesotho.
- 31 healthcare professionals were absorbed into DoH posts.
- Immense online marketing programme that works more efficiently than previous marketing pursuits.
- Development of world-class monitoring and evaluation plan and the completion of the mid-year M&E report.
- Development and implementation of the Eastern Cape Rural Doctors Support Programme (RDSP). This programme has had such great success that in partnership with Broadreach and FPD – the RDSP will roll out into additional districts in the coming months.
- Completion of community service officer (CSO) 2009 and 2010 research project reports.
- Africa Professional Placements has commenced and is growing having already signed on several big clients.
- AHP has been doing a great deal of consulting work with regard to healthcare policy and HRH, as well as partnering with the DoH on several projects.
- AHP still receives funding from Atlantic, DeBeers, Anglo American, PEPFAR and SIDA, and will be receiving additional funding from the Aurum Institute, the CDC and other anonymous donors.
- By the end of 2011 the AHP team stood at 34 – and is set to grow even larger in 2012.
- AHP has already made well over 300 placements (368 as of 1 August 2011).
- Record number of placements have been made by AHP in South Africa: 476 placements in total -
- 53 local-qualified healthcare professionals placed in South Africa.
- 66 Department of Health absorptions.
- 345 foreign-qualified healthcare professionals placed in South Africa.
- 3 healthcare professionals placed in Swaziland.
- 9 healthcare professionals placed in Lesotho.
- In January the Rural Doctors’ Support Programme (RDSP) expanded into a further five districts in four provinces.
- AHP launched as a separate legal entity. Two companies were registered in March. AHP Recruitment Foundation NPC (whose name was changed to Africa Health Placements NPC) is the donor-funded arm of what AHP does. Africa Health Placements (Pty) Ltd is the for-profit entity in which all our profitable work will take place. The shares in this company will be held by a number of shareholders, the two main being the NPC (so that profits we make are available to the NPC for its social profit/non-profit work) and the Foundation for Professional Development (who will bankroll and support any profitable ventures we take on in exchange for a share of the profits).
- AHP signed a memorandum of understanding with the South African Nursing Council (SANC) in May. SANC and AHP will work together to bring more nurses to South Africa and to place these resources where they are needed the most.
- The orientation team developed a hospital induction programme in partnership with the District Manager in Vhembe, Limpopo. This programme was implemented in the Donald Fraser Hospital at the end of 2012 for the community service officers starting in 2013.
- The orientation team orientated all new recruits.
- The local and foreign recruitment team merged to create one recruitment team.
- Baseline assessments were also initiated to inform a more strategic approach to recruitment.
- Practice Managers hosted 110 continued professional development sessions.
- Practice Managers travelled 250 000 km to conduct 1 000 healthcare facility visits for the RDSP.
- The RDSP reached an estimated 4.4 million people.
- AHP received additional funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.
- AHP continued to increase its online presence. By the end of 2012 AHP had more than 30 000 Twitter followers.
- AHP’s website registered just under 60 000 visits during 2012, 73.5% of which were unique visitors.
- The Durban office closed and AHP moved to a bigger office in Rosebank, Johannesburg in September.
- By the end of 2012 AHP had grown to 43 staff members.
- 294 placements were made in 2012.
- Since inception in 2005 AHP has placed 2 523 healthcare workers.
- The efforts of the recruitment team had an impact on an estimated 2.9 million people in 2012.
- 450 AHP doctors are currently working in South Africa. They have an impact on an estimated eight million South Africans.