NWU receives the necessary Ministerial support for the establishment of the Medical School

The North-West University (NWU) is delighted to announce that the Minister of Health, Dr M.J. Phaahla, MP, has officially supported the university’s plan to establish the NWU Medical School. “I am pleased to inform you that the NDOH was happy with your university’s initiative of setting up a medical training programme that has unique features of integrating primary health care early into the training of medical doctors. I am therefore pleased to provide your institution with my support in principle. This is subject to the North-West University satisfying other steps of the accreditation process.” – Dr Phaahla, Minister of Health, South Africa.

The Minister of Health’s support is a culmination of the good work that has been done over the years by the NWU Medical School Task Team comprising members of the NWU Council under the leadership of the chairperson, Mr Bert Sorgdrager, the University management led by the vice-chancellor, Prof. Bismark Tyobeka, NWU chancellor, Dr Anna Mokgokong, and members of the North-West provincial government under the leadership of the Premier of the North West Province, Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape.

Henceforth, the NWU will earnestly discuss and finalise the specific details of the NWU Medical School with the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, and the Department of Higher Education (DHET). In addition, the university will commence with discussions and consultations with relevant structures such as the Council on Higher Education (CHE), and the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) regarding the curriculum and accreditation thereof.

These are some of the crucial features that the NWU will propose to the relevant regulatory institutions:

a) The lived context of community and distributed clinical training platform that enables a longitudinal, self-directed, integrated, interprofessional, and transdisciplinary learning environment.

b) The duration of the programme to be six (6) years. Three (3) years integrated preclinical period followed by three (3) years of clinical training, and thereafter internship and community service.

c) Klerksdorp/Tshepong hospital complex and affiliated hospitals and clinics in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District to serve as the initial clinical training platform; and

d) The initial enrolment to be 50 students and gradually increase to 100 or more over time as the clinical training platform strengthens and expands.

I am thrilled with the support from the Minister of Health. The Task Team has done extremely well in ensuring that all stakeholders are on board towards the establishment of the NWU Medical School. This significant milestone gives us the strength and courage to continue to mobilise the necessary partnerships and resources for the NWU Medical School.” – Mr Bert Sorgdrager, NWU Council chairperson.

The NWU Management is ready to present the core details of the curriculum to the DHET, CHE and HPCSA for accreditation. The team has already compiled a comprehensive proposal that will be presented to these structures early in 2024. I look forward to discussing the details with our partners in both the public and private sectors in South Africa and beyond to ensure that all hands remain on deck towards the implementation of our plans for the NWU Medical School.” – added Prof. Bismark Tyobeka, NWU principal and vice-chancellor.

More details regarding the NWU Medical School programme and updates will follow as and when the necessary approvals are received from the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation, as well as by the CHE, HPCSA, and others.

We remain positive and optimistic that everything will go according to plan for us to have our intake of first year students of the NWU Medical School in 2028.

Submitted on Fri, 12/22/2023 - 20:56