NEWS & ANALYSIS

Wouter Basson not teaching students - Stellenbosch University

Health faculty says doctor has not presented any tutorials on ECG at Mediclinic to FMHS students in any official capacity for a year

Statement: Dr Wouter Basson

16 November 2015

Stellenbosch University confirms that Dr Wouter Basson is not involved in any capacity in the lecturing or tutoring of students in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) (see report).

Dr Basson was never appointed by or employed by the FMHS in any capacity.

As part of a project in partnership with Mediclinic, limited numbers of fourth- and fifth-year medical students have, since the beginning of 2014, been able to complete their four-week long internal medicine rotations at Mediclinic hospitals, and receive clinical training from private sector doctors.

The specialists at Mediclinic receive accreditation by the FMHS to be able to train and supervise students.

When the Durbanville Mediclinic was accredited as a training site in November 2013, accreditation was also given to a group of doctors to act as clinical supervisors. A group of seven doctors were accredited for a period of three years (from 1 January 2014 to 13 December 2016) provided, amongst others, that they were registered with the HPCSA as medical practitioners and specialists.

In his capacity as a private doctor and a cardiologist who works in a Mediclinic hospital, Dr Basson was accredited as a clinical supervisor as part of this group. Dr Basson's contact with students in 2014 was limited to some tutorials on the electrocardiogram (ECG).

After Dr Basson was found guilty by the HPCSA in December 2013, the FMHS began the process to withdraw Dr Basson's accreditation. The FMHS is very rigorous in its accreditation process and requests for accreditation have to serve before a number of academic committees before it is tabled before the Faculty Board (a committee made up of all the academics with the rank of associate professor and higher). The Faculty Board sits four times a year.

The same process that was followed with accreditation had to be followed with the request to withdraw Dr Basson's accreditation. The request was tabled at various different academic committees which met on 21 July, 7 October and 28 October 2014. This is part of the normal academic process leading up to the Faculty Board meeting.

The recommendation that the accreditation be withdrawn was approved by the Faculty Board on 6 November 2014 and a letter was sent to Dr Basson on 24 November 2014 conveying this decision to him.

Since the decision was conveyed to him, Dr Basson no longer presents any tutorials on ECG to FMHS students in any official capacity.

If FMHS students did attend any tutorials given by Dr Basson at the hospital subsequent to the withdrawal of his accreditation, this was done of their own accord and it does not form part of the formal FMHS training. The FMHS has not received any student complaints about the tutorials that took place in 2014, nor about any contact with students in 2015. As always, students are encouraged to bring any concerns to the attention of the FMHS through the appropriate channels.

Statement issued by Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), Stellenbosch University, 16 November 2015