R9mil boost for rural based education

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pretoria - A R9 million grant, which was awarded to the Wits University Centre for Rural-Based Education in the North West, has been hailed as a major boost for people of the province.

The North West Health and Social Development said the three-year grant, which was recently awarded by Atlantic Philanthropies to the Wits University, will help to develop a District Training Centre.

The grant will also enable the development of a pilot District Educational Campus within the Lehurutshe-Zeerust Hospital Complex at Lehurutshe in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District.

The department said on Wednesday that over the next three years about 60 students will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP) degree for training as clinical associates, a new midlevel medical category.

"The degree programme was launched at Wits in early 2009 and the Clinical Associate will work in a team of clinicians in district hospitals, complementing the primary care nurse and under supervision of the doctor," the department said in a statement.

The department, which has a long-standing relationship with Wits, said it is highly supportive of and involved in the initiative.

The department said it has already created posts for future clinical associates in its staffing structure and is making bursaries available for prospective students from the North West, who will then complete most of their training within the province.

While the District Educational Campus initiative focuses initially on clinical associates training, it will provide an impetus for the further development of training in the North West.