Mandela University student transport boost from Bestmed Medical Scheme donation

Nelson Mandela University received a 22-seater bus as a donation from Bestmed Medical Scheme on Friday, 10 March 2023.
The bus will be used to provide students with much-needed transport to clinics and hospitals in the province, where they do their training.
According to the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Zukiswa Zingela, the Faculty consists of 11 departments, where students are required to get practical training at hospitals and clinics.
“The Faculty continuously strives to produce fit-for-purpose graduates who are in service to society. This is by ensuring that students get practical training at clinics and hospitals throughout the Eastern Cape,” said Prof Zingela.
She said that to ensure that the Faculty meets this obligation, ‘all our departments are continuously incorporating a work-integrated learning component/approach in their curriculum, mostly at external training sites off-campus’.
Prof Zingela added that having 11 departments with 3500 students means challenges with transporting students to external training sites.
“The clinics and hospitals are in the Metro, but also throughout the Eastern Cape.”
Due to the increasing financial pressure of student transport requirements, as well as relying on external service providers, the Faculty approached the institutional Strategic Resource Mobilisation and Advancement (SRMA) office for assistance in finding a sponsor/donor for a 22-seater student transport vehicle.
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Learning and Teaching, Dr Muki Moeng, said: “We are very grateful that the SRMA office has managed to find a generous sponsor in Bestmed Medical Scheme that has not only provided funding for the vehicle procurement, but shares the Faculty of Health Sciences’ vision and goals when it comes to improving the lives of communities.”
She added: “We thank Bestmed for their contribution that enables us to bring students onto the community, clinical and hospital platform, which will help to ensure our students are learning with a ‘hands-on approach’ and will also assist with improving the lives of so many within the community.”
She explained that the University provides access to healthcare by going to communities, and the bus will help realise that goal.
“Bestmed has, for many years, maintained a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with Nelson Mandela University. As a medical scheme that continues to grow, we value our partnership with the University and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students as well as the communities in the Eastern Cape,” said Madelein Barkhuizen, Executive Manager of Sales and Marketing at Bestmed.
Barkhuizen continued, “We believe that our commitment to the development of our youth enables them to push their limits and achieve their dreams. Bestmed’s sponsorship of the student bus will strengthen Nelson Mandela University’s efforts to help students achieve academic success. This should, in turn, help to provide continued access to quality healthcare within the relevant communities.”


“We are excited and look forward to a continued strong relationship with the University,” said Barkhuizen. 


Lauded as a beacon of hope for the region, province, and country as the need for medical professionals mounts, our medical school’s educational focus on the Missionvale Campus is on preventative medicine, promoting healthier lifestyles, community engagement to achieve good health and wellbeing, enhancing food security as a means of poverty alleviation, and supporting economic development through cutting-edge research.

Amid the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic brought, Nelson Mandela University opened its medical school – the 10th in South Africa – at its Missionvale campus last year.

Why give to the Mandela University Medical School?

  • It uses an innovative, transformative, distributive teaching model with an emphasis on comprehensive primary health care and preventative medicine with a focus on leveraging the benefits of technology to deliver effective health professions education.
  • Its transformative interprofessional education model (IPE) will see doctors study and develop alongside nurses, radiographers, psychologists, environmental health practitioners, pharmacists, emergency medical care students, and the like, to offer holistic and integrated health care that instils a multidisciplinary approach to health problems and solutions.
  • The Faculty of Health Sciences’ health care ethos includes an integration of preventative, promotive, curative and innovative healthcare.
  • The Mandela University six-year, MBChB degree (a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) aims to produce graduates who fulfil all the graduate attributes as defined by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and go beyond, all in a unique, community- focused setting.

The Nelson Mandela Medical School provides an opportunity to shape local and national history through producing doctors that are well-versed in global health challenges and solutions and inspired to plough back lessons learnt into our communities through dedicated service.

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