Pelonomi training resumes

2019-06-12 06:00
Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, addressing the media about safety of students at the Pelonomi Hospital. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, addressing the media about safety of students at the Pelonomi Hospital. Photo: Mlungisi Louw

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Undergraduate medical students of the University of the Free State (UFS) have resumed their training at the Pelonomi Hospital after it was suspended due to security concerns.

The suspension followed two separate incidents involving female doctors – attempted rape and armed robbery.

The attempted rape occurred at night on Monday, 3 June, and the armed robbery on Saturday (08/06).

On Monday (10/06) the university’s executive committee announced the decision to have students in the School of Clinical Medicine resume their training at the Pelonomi Hospital with immediate effect.

Undergraduate students of the university’s Schools of Clinical Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions are trained at various clinical platforms in Bloemfontein.

They train at the Pelonomi Hospital, Universitas Hospital, National Hospital, Mangaung University Community Partnership Programme (MUCPP) and the Free State Psychiatric Complex.

According to Prof. Francis Petersen, UFS rector and vice-chancellor, the decision to resume training followed after discussions over security concerns with different stakeholders.

This involved the university management, the head of the Department of Health (DOH) in the province, the executive committee of the Pelonomi Hospital and the police.

“The DOH provided the university with a security plan comprising immediate and medium-term interventions, and a commitment to execute the plan as a matter of urgency.

“The main concern for the executive management of the university is the safety of its students and staff. We are satisfied with the security plan and the overall interventions committed to by the Department of Health,” said Peter­sen.

He said the UFS executive committee will monitor the implementation of security interventions with the ma­nagement of the Pelonomi Hospital and the department.

Petersen said the department has furthermore extended its bus service between the clinical platforms in Bloemfontein to students in need of transport at the School of Clinical Medicine from the beginning of the second semester.

The transport service will ultimately be extended to undergraduate students in the Schools of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

“We will also look into further transport solutions in the longer term for our students,” said Petersen.

He said the university’s executive committee also met with undergraduate students in the Schools of Clinical Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions to discuss the situation at the hospital.

“Trauma counselling is provided to students and staff and those in need at the Pelonomi Hospital,” he said.

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