Dotted line: (left to right) UCT vice-chancellor Dr Max Price with Prof Russell Botman (US rector and vice-chancellor), Theuns Botha (Western Cape minister of health), Prof Ramesh Bharuthram (UWC deputy vice-chancellor and acting rector) and Prof Lineo Mazwi-Tanga (CPUT rector and vice-chancellor) at the signing of the multilateral agreement.
A bilateral agreement between UCT and the Western Cape Government will follow a multilateral agreement, entered into recently by the province with the four tertiary institutions involved in the training of healthcare workers.
Others involved in the multilateral agreement are the Universities of Stellenbosch (US) and the Western Cape (UWC), and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). This overarching agreement sets out principles that will govern the provincial department of health's interaction with these institutes to ensure that future healthcare professionals receive "excellent and relevant training".
"The agreement is of national significance because the health services are where national health and higher education must work together," said Theuns Botha, Western Cape minister of health. "This agreement is the bridge towards this essential co-operation."
The tertiary institutes are responsible for training health care professionals, while public hospitals provide the platforms for students to gain practical experience. According to the province, access to these platforms must "be governed to protect the patient and the integrity of the service platform".
No timeline has been set for the signing of the bilateral agreement, although patience may be required - it took eight years to agree on the terms of the multilateral agreement.
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