New Head of Family Medicine Department
Dr Bernard Gaede is the new Head of Family Medicine at UKZN.
He takes up the position this month after serving as the Director of UKZN’s Centre for Rural Health for the past four years.
Gaede, who trained as a family Physician and holds a PhD in Family Medicine, worked for more than a decade in rural areas of South Africa and has a wide scope of clinical and organisational experience in such fields as HIV medicine and primary health care.
His new appointment comes at a time when the re-engineering of primary health care is a national priority. This, said Gaede, was an opportunity for the already well-established Family Medicine Department to focus on the development of its decentralised training platform, new research areas and as well as curriculum transformation.
To date, the department has thrived to provide appropriate and continuous family medicine teaching and training at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in urban and rural teaching sites.
Gaede said it was important to train students according to the new competency model developed by the Health Professional Council of South Africa. ‘It’s part of larger movement in the country guided by the National Health Insurance on the need to train healthcare professionals who can provide quality primary health care for all.’
Gaede said the Family Medicine Department would play an important leadership role in taking primary health care forward. ‘It’s also a great opportunity to generate new research topics.’
His areas of interest and research have included healthcare systems, community-level care (including home-based care and traditional medicine), human rights and Medical Anthropology. He has also been actively involved over the past decade in the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa - Rural Health Advocacy Project.
His recent interests include health professional education and the establishment of a decentralised teaching platform in the province which he will drive in the new post.