Our Vision

Our Story

SACoHSD formed in 2009 by the Deans of Health Science faculties as a member and network organisation – collective decision-making with member institutions retaining their autonomy.

At inception, focus on health sciences education in the context of prevailing regulatory and strategic frameworks:

    • Higher Education Act – governance, funding and quality assurance in higher education.
    • National Health Act – patient-centred national health system for the benefit of all.
    • Health Charter – transformation in the health sector covering access, equity, quality and broad-based BEE.
    • Strategic Framework for Human Resources in Health – capability, distribution and used of skilled health professionals to broaden access.
    • National human resources plan for health – implementation of national guideline.

Facilitating the optimisation and transformation of academic activities in Health Science Faculties to meet the healthcare, research and social imperatives of South Africa

    • Advocacy for, and representation of Health Science faculties.
    • Promoting the integrity, image and viability of health professional education and health professions.
    • Promoting collaboration and interacting with regulatory and professional bodies to coordinate responses to health and education issues, influence policy and optimise health system resourcing.

A combined inward and outward focus: sharing knowledge and learning amongst members for adoption and adaptation of practices at the discretion of individual institutions; and holistic health system strengthening. 

Our Stakeholder universe

  • SACOHSD interacts with and is affiliated to a diverse set of stakeholders. These include loose affiliations, professional and regulatory bodies, and government departments with their related structures.
  • Interactions include collaborations, operational and service-related activities, and strategic engagements with important implications on the higher education, healthcare and broader societal landscapes.
  • The interfaces between SACoHSD, SACOMD and SACODD are complementary and collaborative.
  • SACoHSD is the formal representative of health sciences education on the Joint Health Sciences Education Committee (JHSEC) convened by the Departments of Health and Higher Education and Training. It represents the interface between faculties and government entities to address strategic-level health issues.
  • Additionally, the Health Academic Forum hosted by the Department of Health focuses on the use of DoH facilities as clinical platforms for training. This sets the context for bilateral functioning between individual institutions and provincial health departments.
  • The committee interacts with a wide array of professional bodies. This is a reflection of the diverse range of disciplines within the committee’s portfolio, and with graduates being primarily in professional programmes. The quality of interactions vary across the different professional bodies, and in certain instances these are adversarial.
  • In general, the quality and effectiveness of stakeholder interactions are influenced by levels of trust, the extent of political gamesmanship and power imbalances, and capabilities of the different parties.

A design-thinking approach to formulating strategy

Understanding the challenge

Crafting our desired future

Our approach

A coherent set of actions

Guiding principles which shape our decisions & actions

We are human-centred and student-centred – where the student is an active participant in strengthening health and education ecosystems, as well as a recipient as we develop people and build capability and capacity. We believe in the importance and value of the roles that health sciences education and healthcare play in just, equitable and inclusive societal development with planetary protection and renewal. We are catalysts and agents for transformative change within our institutions, across the health and education sectors, and in broader society. We embrace collaboration and partnering within and beyond our suite of disciplines to amplify our impact, underpinned by a spirit of open knowledge sharing and collective action. We nurture systems-thinking and innovation to navigate the complex challenges facing health science education and healthcare. We ensure ongoing relevance and responsiveness of our efforts in a complex and dynamic landscape.