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Training health professionals in SA

- By Wits University

How do we produce more health professionals in South Africa that are both sufficiently trained to maintain and improve the standards of health care in the country, and are ready and able to work in the areas of greatest need?

The annual Centre for Rural Health seminar will focus on these questions and challenges, which were echoed by the World Health Organization (WHO) when they called for a scale-up of transformative health professions education in order to increase the quality, quality and relevance of health science graduates.

The keynote speaker is Dr Henry Campos, rector of the Federal University of Ceará, in Fortaleza.

He topic is titled, Expanding health professional training to meet country goals, and will focus on his experiences in Brazil.

Campos is an advisor to the Brazilian Ministries of Health and Education, presently coordinating the Commission for Expansion of Medical Schools. He has played a major role in the expansion of medical training in Brazil over the last five years, including leading the development of 29 new rural medical schools.   

Other speakers:

  • Professor Vic Exner, Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth – Planning a new medical school in South Africa from the bottom up
  • Dr Diane Parker, Deputy Director-General: University Education, Department of Higher Education and Training – Supporting the scale-up of health professional training in South Africa: the role of Higher Education

Date: 8 September 2015

Time:  17:30 for 18:00

Venue:  Alder Museum, Wits Medical School, Parktown

Director of the Centre for Rural Health, Professor Ian Couper said South Africa needs to scale up its training of health professionals in terms of medical doctors.

“We currently have about 0.8 per 1000 population, compared to the minimum of 1.4 per 1,000 recommended by WHO. Brazil has 1.9 per 1000, but has a target of 2.7 per 1000, with ambitious plans to reach that. 

“A major component of the plan is to scale up training by starting new medical schools. We can learn a great deal from these ambitious efforts, and other health professional development initiatives in Brazil in which Professor Campos has played a leading role,” said Couper.

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