Higher Education and Training Minister, Blade Nzimande has extended his commendation to Nelson Mandela University (NMU) for officially launching its medical school.
The university’s landmark achievement places it as the tenth medical school in the country.
Located at the Missionvale campus, the NMU Medical School aims to position health education to be more responsive to South Africa’s health needs by widening access to healthcare programmes.
To mark the occasion on Tuesday, the Department of Higher Education and Training has described as the realisation of a long-held dream.
Nzimande said “I would like to commend the university for the continued role that it plays in this region, through its excellent teaching and learning, research and community engagement programmes.”
According to the Minister, the establishment will promote local economic development within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, South Africa’s fifth-largest municipality.
Nzimande also took the time to pay tribute to the late Professor Lungile Pepeta who died of COVID-19 in 2020 for his enormous contribution in laying a strong foundation for this medical school. “I hear you may name this after Professor Pepeta. I certainly think it would be highly appreciated.”
According to the Minister,“The school will generally add to the much-needed health professionals that our country so needs to improve our health system as a country.”
He said the establishment of the school has been long coming, dating back to 2013 when a business plan was first put together. The National Skills Fund subsequently wired R73 million into it with backing from the department.
“I am pleased that this new medical degree focuses on comprehensive primary health care from the first year of study.”
Nzimande said he was pleased that the school is planning to use global technological innovations to support interactive education.
“I also fully subscribe to the ethos of this medical school, which are firmly based on community and primary health care provision by developing health care professionals who are committed to providing accessible and affordable healthcare services.”
In addition, he announced that in the current financial year, the department has allocated R644.7 million for the clinical training of health professionals in the sector, of which R19 million will go to NMU.
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