South Africa’s 10th medical school, located at Nelson Mandela University’s Missionvale Campus in Port Elizabeth, opens its doors in March 2021.
This was announced by the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Sibongile Muthwa, and follows the approval and registration by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for the University to offer the MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) qualification.
The SAQA approval was the final step in the lengthy accreditation process in the journey towards Mandela University’s Medical School. It follows a visit by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the Council on Higher Education (CHE) a year ago, during which the University’s readiness to offer the six-year medical degree was assessed in terms of curriculum, infrastructure, equipment, staff, the necessary student support and agreements with stakeholders.
Muthwa said the final accreditation came at a significant time, as South Africa grappled with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has placed even greater pressure on the health system – even at the cost of losing the lives of colleagues in the health sector.
Having obtained the SAQA registration, the University can officially open applications from 06 January 2021, for its first cohort of students. It will enrol its first intake in March 2021.
“The collaborative engagements with our colleagues at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) and the support we have had from all the other medical schools across the country enabled us to be ready to launch the new, unique medical programme successfully” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, Prof Cheryl Foxcroft.
“We look forward to collaborating with all our partner institutions, provincially and nationally, in producing fit-for-purpose, service oriented and civic-minded medical professionals committed to making a difference in the lives of the disadvantaged”.
The institution said the medical school will in future help address the shortage of qualified health professionals‚ stating that 65% of all public doctors’ posts are vacant and there is only one doctor to every 4‚230 people in the Eastern Cape.
(SOURCE: Medical Brief)