Registered medical students will undergo free management training in March. The South African Medical Association (SAMA) made this known on Thursday.
The training course was the brain child of Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) research, which the body carried out among 148 managers working in the healthcare industry. FDP is a subsidiary of the South African Medical Association (SAMA).
The short courses would be offered free of charge to all MBcHB [The Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery] students.
“The much-awaited programme is the result of a partnership between the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD), Medical Practice Consulting (MPC) and a University of Pretoria medical student, Gabriel Nel,” said SAMA boss Dr Muzikisi Grootboom.
Lending his voice on the issue, Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) managing director Dr Gustaaf said:
“This partnership is in response to an approach by a group of medical students who identified the need for leadership and management training given that this is not covered by the medical curriculum. FPD is committed to developing leadership in health and believes doctors have a unique obligation to provide leadership within the health sector”.
“The complexity of healthcare systems require managers, who not only understand the professional context, but also have excellent managerial and leadership competencies”.
Speaking further on the importance of upgrading the health management sector, Wolvaardt said, “There is an urgent need to professionalise health management.”
Speaking about the programme, SAMA chairman Dr Muzikisi Grootboom said that the body is glad that the research is paying off, as results are already telling. Grootboom opined that from the result of the research, it was clear that though health managers “are supervising the work of close to 30,000 people, only 35 percent of them had any formal management training. Hence, the need to embrace the type of management and skills development training FPD is now offering.
He added that “the intention [of the training] is to expand this initiative to students in the other health professions.”
“It’s a step in the right direction to making these vital skills more available in the healthcare space,” he concluded.
Speaking about how the programme would look like, Grootboom said, 15 students would be offered modules and each and every one of them is expected to have specific exit-level outcomes. SAMA boss affirmed that the topics covered in the modules include; leadership that gets results, Introduction to project management, Introduction to operations management, Thriving and surviving change, financial management and Introduction to markets and marketing.
He added that as part of academic advancement, “the FPD has customised an E-leaning portal that will enable MBcHB students to enrol for specific programmes, and complete them at their own pace.”