Clinical Associates - Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP)

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND (Rural Health Unit, Department of Family Medicine), in association with the National Department of Health and North West and Gauteng Department of Health, are offering a new degree, Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP), since January 2009. This is a three year programme leading to the qualification of Clinical Associate, which will be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.


The ainm of the programme is to develop a new group of health care workers who will have the necessary knowledge, attitudes and psychomotor skills to be able to work in a hospital environment assisting the doctor and other health care staff in doing procedures and in assessing patients mainly in the casualty and emergency wards, but also in the other wards and theatre. This is similar to the Physician Assistant in USA. They will be working in smaller hospitals so as to improve patient care especially in rural and disadvantaged communities.


The qualified clinical associate will be expected to:

  • Assist with the assessment and management of patients in casualty or ward situations, for children and adults, for all conditions likely to occur in a district hospital.
  • Take responsibility for performing routine procedures in district hospital wards, casualty and the outpatient departments under supervision.
  • Form an essential part of the health care team in rural districts


The clinical associate will be a proud, independent member of the medical team with unique skills and knowledge who will work under the supervision of a doctor. The Clinical Associate will be taught mainly at South Rand Hospital in Gauteng or Lehurutshe Hospital in North West Province with some training at other Provincial hospitals and the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School.


The clinical associates curriculum will be based on the principle of developing a sound knowledge of the medical and clinical sciences to enable understanding of conditions and management strategies. Students will be expected to have a detailed knowledge of the biopsychosocial and clinical l sciences in areas related to the performance of procedures.


  • Qualification for admission to the Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Completion of the Health Sciences Placement Test
  • Interest in and manual dexterity to perform clinical procedures
  • Willingness to travel to different teaching venues
  • Preparedness to do shift work and night duties during the course
  • Compliance with the expected ethical and professional requirements
  • Ability to speak three or more South African languages will be an advantage
  • Previous experience in a health care field will be an advantage


Financial support through the current Provincial Bursary Scheme will be available to South African citizens, residents in that province who are eligible for assistance. Bursary holders will be required to accept a contract to work for the Provincial Health Department in compensation for the funding provided. The bursary will mainly cover tution fees. Subsidised accommodation will be supplied as far as possible. Students will be responsible for other expenses. .


The salary structure has not been determined. It is expected that the salaries will be commensurate with current Nursing salaries including access to scarce skills and other benefits if appropriate.

It is envisaged that there will be opportunities for being promoted into more senior and more specialised posts in the health care system


Further information can be obtained from Elize Schreuder at work: 011 717 2029 or Dr Audrey Gibbs work: 011 717 2004 or email

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