University of the Witwatersrand: Delivery of quality healthcare and clinical training prioritised in Wits, GDoH agreement

The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) and Wits University have concluded a Memorandum of Agreement that aims to strengthen collaboration between the parties, to enable the delivery of quality healthcare services and exemplary health sciences education.

The Agreement, which serves as a framework, includes the development of ‘Academic Health Complexes’ which will be established as centres of excellence, and which are responsive to the needs of the Gauteng Province and the country.

“We are committed to fostering a close, collaborative working relationship with Wits University, with the objective of enabling functional, agile, and well-managed Academic Health Complexes that will deliver quality healthcare to the public,” says MEC for Health in Gauteng, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, adding that this partnership “will also help to ensure the most efficient, cost-effective, appropriate and sustainable use of our joint resources.”

Where appropriate, the Agreement aims to enable the use of combined resources, maximise output, and improve the quality and service of healthcare delivery, particularly with regards to clinical and academic activities.

“We welcome the Agreement, which will regularise the relationship between Wits and the GDOH, and which we are hopeful will enable greater and closer cooperation, based on mutual respect,” says Professor Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. “We have hundreds of staff members and thousands of students who serve on our clinical platforms every day. The MoA will help to regulate the relationship with the GDoH, and hospital managers, to facilitate the delivery of quality teaching and training on the clinical training platforms, as well as the conducting of globally recognised research.”

The MoA also seeks to:

provide high quality academic health programmes, health services and research;
jointly govern the appointment, recruitment, management, and discipline of joint staff;
ensure that the clinical service platform meets the requirements for academic activities; and
develop joint mechanisms to rapidly deal with constraints and challenges related to the clinical service platform.
Governance and Implementation

Wits and the GDoH have three months in which to establish three key structures which will include officials from both Wits and the GDoH: the Overarching Committee; the Governance Committee; and the Academic Health Complex Committees. The Committees are required to develop governing schedules and management agreements to ensure the implementation of the Agreement.

“We are hopeful that this Agreement, if implemented well, will pave the way for the provision of better healthcare services for patients in the Province, whilst ensuring that our future healthcare professionals receive the best training and research opportunities on the continent,” concludes Madhi.

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