Bursaries offered to Mpumalanga scholars to study at University of Pretoria

Posted on June 25, 2010

After completing the BCMP degree, the graduate will be called a Clinical Associate who qualifies to work as a mid-level health care provider in the setting of a district hospital under the supervision of a qualified physician. They are also allowed to register with the Medical and Dental Board of the Health and Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), after having successfully passed a National Certification Examination. The Clinical Associate in South Africa is equivalent to a Physician Assistant in the United States of America.

Clinical Associates are permitted to provide any medical service delegated to them by the supervising registered medical practitioner if such services are within their scope of practice and also forms a part of the supervising doctor’s scope of practice.

The Clinical Associate’s scope of practice is defined by the context and requirements of district hospitals with a particular focus on emergency care, skilled procedures and in-patient care. The medical services which they would provide may include:

• obtaining patient histories and performing physical examinations
• ordering and/or performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
• interpreting findings and formulating a diagnostics for common and emergency conditions
• developing and implementing a treatment plan
• monitoring the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions
• assisting at surgery
• offering counselling and education to meet patient needs
• making appropriate referrals

The first intake of students for the programme was in 2008 and currently the department of health in Mpumalanga has sponsored a total of 26 students already in the programme. Interested students should apply to the university and they should be in possession of Grade 12 certificate, with Maths, Biology and English as their subjects. They should also apply for a bursary from the Mpumalanga Department of Health with the application forms obtainable at the local hospitals. The closing date for university application is 30 June 2010, while the applications for a bursary should reach the department by 30 November 2010. Awarding of bursaries will be however subject to proof of acceptance at the University of Pretoria.

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