Western Cape Health Department and four universities table individually signed agreements
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Cape Town - The Western Cape Health Department (WCHD) and four universities based in the province have formally tabled the individually signed agreements at their Joint Agreement Governance Council on Monday.
UCT, Stellenbosch University (SU), UWC and CPUT collectively committed to optimal health outcomes of the population through the delivery of quality health care by competent and caring health professionals, informed by relevant health-related research.
That became evident in the way the WCHD and the four Institutions responded and continued to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Premier Alan Winde said what underpinned the accomplishment that they highlighted yesterday was the need to work together and the importance of taking a whole-of-society approach.
“These agreements will serve to strengthen what is already a very impressive, agile, innovative and well-run public healthcare system in the Western Cape,” Winde said.
He said in the Western Cape, and the country as a whole, they have a large pool of medical experts within their higher education sector who were recognised for their expertise globally.
“We are so fortunate to be able to draw on them, particularly during times of crisis,” Winde said, as he commended the Provincial Department of Health and the universities on the momentous step that would take their healthcare system from strength to strength.
Institutions signed a historic collective multilateral agreement on May 29, 2012. The department has signed bilateral agreements with each of the four institutions individually over the past 18 months, after key principles were agreed to guide equitable student access on the health service platform, fair allocation of human resources, fair allocation of funding, and clear organisational and governance arrangements.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said partnerships were fundamental in assisting them to achieve their set targets.
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of collaborations. We each have a role to play,” she said.
SU’s rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said: “Tough times call for mustering all resources in not only fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, but to strive towards optimal health and wellness for all. Collaboration would be key in this regard.”
UWC’s Faculty of Community and Health Sciences dean, Prof Anthea Rhoda, said the recently signed bilateral agreement with the department further cemented the relationship between them and the department.
UCTs vice-chancellor, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, said they were pleased to be part of that agreement, which governs the relationship in relation to the shared mandate of education, research and service.
Phakeng said the clinical platform, which was managed by the Western Cape Government, was an environment in which patient care was central.
“This agreement is very much about consolidating the relationship with the province, which has been phenomenal over the past few months as we have worked together to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
CPUT’s vice-chancellor Prof Chris Nhlapo said: “The agreement is a win-win for all parties. Not only do we increase learning opportunities for our students, but we are formalising a co-operative agreement that has already been in place for many years.”