Boost for UJ’s plans to establish a medical school

Hopes for a medical school to be established at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) recently received a boost, with the Gauteng Provincial Government reaffirming its support for the project.


MEC of Health, Dr Bandile Masuku, said his first three months in office has allowed the department to gain deeper insights about the province’s health system and UJ’s plans to establish the medical school in South Africa’s most densely populated region. He explained this during his recent tour of the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences. He was visibly impressed with UJ’s newly established, high-tech Medical Simulation Lab that stimulates real-time medical emergency situations. Dr Masuku also took special interest at the numerous health courses offered in various departments within the Faculty. He said their plans also include building six new hospitals during this decade.

The MEC’s visit to UJ on 26 February 2020 came after Gauteng Premier David Makhura reaffirmed, during his State of the Province Address, that his administration wants to work closely with the University to fast-track the building of a medical school. He also committed to support the University in expanding the capacity to train more doctors and other health professionals.
Makhura’s views came against the backdrop of a going concern in the shortage of doctors in South Africa. And given the envisioned re-engineering of primary health care in South Africa, the National Health Insurance (NHI) will require greater numbers of clinical and non-clinical professionals with different skills and competencies.
Dr Masuku’s visit to UJ formed part of the ongoing dialogue between the provincial government and the University to find ways to ensure that the medical school is established, as part of the solution to deal with the pressures faced by the Provincial Department of Health.
Prof Sehaam Khan, the Executive Dean of UJ’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said the visit gave UJ the chance to state its case for increasing the number of student physicians training regionally. “By strengthening medical education in Gauteng and bringing a medical school to UJ, we will open many doors for future health care professionals and also play a nationally leading role in research.”
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