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Faculty of Health Sciences


The New Steve Biko Academic Hospital

When the previous Faculty of Medicine (now Faculty of Health Sciences) was established, the clinical training of medical students was done in the Pretoria General Hospital, later known as the HF Verwoerd Hospital. This was to have been a temporary arrangement, as the hospital had not originally been designed as a teaching hospital. The faculty facilities were integrated into the hospital complex.

Therefore, the need to establish an integrated academic hospital existed from the outset. The new Steve Biko Academic Hospital is now completed – 60 years after training commenced in the existing hospital!

This new 789-bed hospital provides modern training facilities for tertiary medical care. As in the past, secondary and primary care training of students in the health care professions will continue in several existing regional hospitals and community clinics.


Telemedicine in the Faculty has already gained a sound footing in, for example, the co-operation between the Witbank Hospital and the Radiology Division of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Furthermore, a telemedicine unit has been established in the Department of Ophthalmology. The Department established this unit jointly with a British organisation, Fight for Sight, and the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. From the beginning of 2000, hour-long consultations with subspecialists from this hospital are taking place every two weeks. The consultations are interactive and enable the Department in Pretoria to communicate visually with the consultant in London on a scheduled basis. The patient's problem is discussed and the clinical evidence transmitted to the consultant for comments.

This initiative has enormous benefits for the training of registrars and the technology creates a whole new source of 'lecturers' in London. Moreover, the patient benefits from the 'second opinion' of the London specialist. Fight for Sight carries the cost of the equipment and the running costs of the project over three years.

CSI Initiative: Fun Day for Children with Disabilities

It’s almost that time of the year that the Faculty of Health Sciences hosts its annual community engagement event, the Fun Day for Children with Disabilities. The event will be taking place on Friday 11th of May 2012 on the lawns of BMS Building, Faculty of Health Sciences. This annual event has been running for the past 17 years and has made a real difference in the lives of all who have been involved in it: the disabled learners, UP staff and health sciences students alike. The main objective of the day is to give the disabled learners a day where they can have fun and enjoy themselves with other disabled learners from other schools.


The main objective of the day is to give the disabled learners a day where they can have fun and enjoy themselves with other disabled learners from 15 other schools. The learners get to take part in fun activities in different categories according to their choice and ability. Activities include arts and crafts, ball games, water balloons, balloon pops, music and much more! Based on last year’s event, the expectation is that a total number of 460 disabled learners from the greater Tshwane area and Johannesburg will take part in this event this year. An advisory service will be offered to the teachers from the schools that will be attending the day on how to deal with the challenges they face in teaching children with disabilities.

For more information on the Fun Day for Children with Disabilities, please click here