BuzzSouthAfrica has gathered that SA’s tenth medical school will be opened at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth.
This development was relayed by NMMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Derrick Swartz on Sunday.
The momentous decision to establish the school in the renowned institution of learning was taken after the university had canvassed severally for the establishment of another medical school in the Eastern Province.
The first medical school was established in the Eastern Cape at the Walter Sisulu University [WSU] in Mthatha.
Need For SA’s Tenth Medical School
Furthermore, the NMMU’s spokesperson, Debbie Derry, said the university excitedly approved the establishment of the second medical school after it found out that South Africa is lagging behind many countries with regards to medical doctors per 1 000 population.
“In 2008, South Africa had 0.9 [medical professionals] per 1 000 population compared with Brazil at 1.9, Mexico 1.8, the UK 2.47 and Australia 2.3.
The United Kingdom has 120 000 doctors for a population of 60 million; South Africa, with a population over 50 million, only has approximately 27 000 doctor,” Derry noted.
Significantly, the establishment of the new school is the brain child of minister of higher education and training, Blade Nzimande; who charged the NMMU to proceed with creating a new medical school by 2020.
Blade also encouraged the university to expand its existing portfolio of health sciences programmes in ten different health professional categories.
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Reports had it that the Department of Higher Education doled out R72.3 million to NMMU over three years; starting in 2014, to come up with new pre-medical programmes; amongst others, to allow for multi-entry-options towards the MBChB degree.
As anticipated after enrollment, these students may then qualify for third-year MBChB enrolment in 2020; which coincides with the target year for intake of NMMU’s first year school-leavers for the same degree.
There are also plans to start up the school with an initial intake of 50 students, as well as the introduction of medical specialist training programmes.