RHC2023 Programme

The RHC2023 will have a Face-to-Face programme at  Emerald Vale Brewery .

See the end of the page for a standard outline programme.

RHC2022 Theme: Learning, Adapting, and Thriving

The Covid-19 Pandemic posed immense challenges on our health services and us as people. This forced us to learn, adapt and thrive – and we believe that in rural areas we are one step ahead of the rest. This is achieved by innovative and passionate health professionals working with our communities. We are used to dealing with crisis, allocating limited resources, strengthening systems, thinking outside the box, distant learning, and being connected to families and showing compassion until the end of life. 

At this conference we will have a change to share our accomplishments, learn through our challenges and be inspired to thrive. 

Rural just is different!

See our Keynote speakers below

The full programme is here RHC2022 Final Programme

Draft conference proceedings here: Draft

The 4 Streams of the conference

Every year, the Rural Health Conference is organised around four streams, covering the key facets of achieving the right to health for rural populations. The annual conference theme adds the particular focus for the presentations, discussions and keynote speakers which fall under each stream. For information on previous conferences click

  1. Building Rural Inter-professional Teams: Understanding our unique roles & shared responsibilities within the healthcare team is essential for delivering a comprehensive primary/district health care service and achieving universal health coverage. Rural healthcare workers often have the benefit of small teams and therefore unique opportunities for multidisciplinary learning and service delivery. Trans-disciplinary teamwork needs to begin at undergraduate level and continue through community service and afterward. Strong mentoring, supervision and leadership is needed for this to take place. 
  2. Health Systems Management: Wonderful health policies mean nothing unless they are translated into clear service packages in every province, with the resources to support their implementation.. Health systems management focuses on the budgeting and resources required for strengthening service delivery as well as governance structures, quality improvement measures and inter-sectoral partnerships. Strong management is vital for effective & efficient health care which narrows the service delivery gaps between urban & rural areas.
  3. Community engagement & the voice of end users: community engagement relates to working with the community around the health facility as well as the Department of Health working with user groups, health advocates, alternative health workers, and the professional associations to identify the health issues, health needs, and professional solutions that can be offered to ensure Universal Health Care for all our citizens. 
  4. Policy & Practice: we need to reach for the stars and say what is ideal, propose policy, interrogate policy and translate policy into effective practice. This can be done by identifying: Best Practice models of service delivery, the gaps between policy & practice, and educating NHI private practitioners in equity, DoH systems and DoH standard treatment guidelines.

RHC2022 Keynote Speakers

Victor Fredlund

Keynote: Reflections on a lifetime of learning and adapting in rural health care

Victor Fredlund graduated in 1979. In 1981 he started as a medical officer in Mseleni Hospital became Medical Superintendent in 1985 and retired at the end of March 2021. Involved in hospital administration, planning and development, as well as day to day clinical practice. He has written research papers on TB, HIV and Mseleni joint disease; and was also involved in community development, water, sanitation, job creation, education, orphan care, youth work and church ministry.  At present running Ngithume Nkosi, which seeks to encourage health workers to a life of service to the community.

Warren Hansen

KeynoteThe Preceptorship of newly qualified nurses

Warren Hansen is a Professional Nurse Lecturer at Western Cape College of Nursing; based at Boland Campus, Worcester and currently, concluding his PhD in Nursing Science. Beforehand, Warren was a professional nurse in the operating room at Worcester Hospital. Here he acted as the assistant manager of nursing (night duty) and the operational manager of theatre when asked to or when required but, he was central person for clinical training in the operating theatre. He shared his vision of a multi skilled unit with his unit manager who supported him trying to create a culture of teaching and learning. Warren also promotes humanitarian values and is the administrative officer of a NPO, Foundation Heini Adams, which work to promote the dreams of boys and girls, especially in sport.


Keynote: A 10 point plan to deliver excellent services to all children, youth and adults with cerebral palsy in South Africa

Dr. Gillian Saloojee is a paediatric physiotherapist with a special interest in working with children and young adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families living in rural resource-constrained settings. Promoting access to quality intervention and excellent services for all children and young adults with CP, irrespective of where they live, has been the driving force behind her work. She is the Founder and former Executive Director of Malamulele Onward, the current Chairperson of the Southern African Academy of Childhood Disability and an honorary senior lecturer in the Physiotherapy Department at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Keynote: Accessing untapped potential in the South African Health System; optimising clinical associates' contribution

Parimalaranie Yogeswaran (Yogi) is a Family Physician who has worked in the Eastern Cape Health System for over 35 years. She worked in different contexts in Primary Health Care: Community Health Centres, District hospitals and Regional Hospitals as a Specialist Family Physician. She was one of the founding members of the Family Medicine Department. She recently retired from her position as Academic Head of the Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University. She is passionate about designing and implementing educational/ training programmes for health professionals in the rural context of South Africa. She was one of the Task team members that implemented the Clinical Associate Programme in South Africa. Her qualifications include an MBBS (Peradeniya- Sri Lanka), M Fam Med (UNITRA), M Sc in Health Informatics (Winchester), and FCFP (SA Peer review)

The conference programme also includes a number of other regular features and activities, including: 

The evenings are a great opportunity to network and informally share rural experiences.

We aim to get at least 16 CPD points for the conference, but the points are only determined once all the abstracts are confirmed.

CPD Certificates are sent by email after the conference once delegate payments have been confirmed.

We do post a draft programme closer to the conference but to guide you when booking flights and accommodation:

Day 1: 08.00 - 10.00 Main Registration & Exhibition
  10.00 - 13.00 Opening by Provincial DoH VIP , 1st Keynote Speaker
  14.00 - 17.00 Parallel Sessions
  17.00 - 19.00 Student AGM
  19.00 - 21.30 Informal Dinner & Networking
Day 2: 07.30 - 8.30 Registration & Exhibition
  08.30 - 10.30 Keynote Speakers
  10.30 - 11.30 Tea & Exhibition & Networking
  11.30 - 13.00 Parallel Sessions
  14.00 - 17.00 Parallel Sessions
  17.00 - 19.00 Meet & Greet and AGMs
  19.00 - 22.00 Gala Dinner & Awards
Day 3: 08.30 - 9.30 Registration & Exhibition
  09.30 - 10.30 Keynote Speaker
  10.30 - 11.30 Tea & Exhibition & Networking
  11.30 - 13.00 Parallel Sessions
  14.00 - 15.00 Parallel Sessions
  15.00 - 16.00 Influencing the future of Rural Health Care
  16.00 - 16.30 Presentation of prizes for Best Oral Presenter, Best Workshop Presenter, Best Posters, Best Student Presentation, Best of each professional group, Best exhibition.