Ongwediva Medipark Private Hospital has been designated as an academic private hospital and will officially train medical students at the University of Namibia.
Medipark has now received full accreditation as a training facility by the Health Professions Councils of Namibia (HPCNA), making it the only private hospital in that category.
The northern hospital has over the years been involved in the training of medical, nursing and pharmacy students, in collaboration with the University of Namibia’s Faculty of Health and Sciences after signing a memorandum of understanding to that effect in 2014.
The ceremony to celebrate the accreditation that officially designated the hospital as a private academic hospital took place at the hospital’s premises in Ongwediva last Wednesday.
Speaking at the ceremony, the co-founder and the hospital’s managing director, Dr Tshali Iithete, said the hospital currently has 30 specialist doctors in various disciplines from different parts of the world, who were part of the training programmes.
“They have brought in a variety of skills and experiences to enhance our teaching capacity. We are also sponsoring a number of young Namibian doctors specialising in various fields at universities in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” he explained.
He said it is a well known fact that the best healthcare facilities in the world are the academic facilities, simply because the healthcare practitioners in these facilities are in touch with the latest technologies and advancement in medicine and healthcare.
Iithete said Medipark recognised the need to elevate the standards of healthcare in Namibia to be in line with proven global trends and the country’s health needs.
“It is against this background that we sought to become involved in academics, by sharing in the transfer of skills to the next generation of healthcare workers,” Iithete said.
Unam Vice-Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula said the accreditation of MediPark marks a turning point in the success story of Unam’s Medical School.
“Overstretched clinical training sites have limited the institution’s growth over the past years and Medipark gave Unam the backing for intake of not just 50 medical students as the ultimate target, but indeed aim for more,” Hangula said.
Hangula proposed that Medipark extend its internship training programme to the education and training of other medical specialist fields. “Let us extend it to dentistry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. These are now Unam’s new challenges for which we need extraordinary solutions. We are confident that with your continued support, we can make it,” he said.
Hangula said the signing of Medipark-Unam memorandum of understanding three years ago is bearing fruit.
“Many may not be aware of the symbolic significance of Medipark to Unam as a training institution, especially as a private hospital opening its doors and embracing medical and pharmacy students with outstretched arms,” Hangula said.
He said it is important for Namibian medical students to gain experience from the experts available at the private hospital, many of whom have rare medical expertise.
The expert practitioners at the hospital work with students on internships at public hospitals in Oshakati and Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital. – Additional reporting by Nampa.