Division of Emergency Medicine
The division of Emergency Medicine was formed in 2001, but Emergency Medicine only became recognised as a speciality by the Health Professions Council of South Africa in March 2003. In May 2003 the College of Emergency Medicine was founded by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. As the first division to develop, the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University became the first South African universities to offer a joint Master of Medicine (MMed) degree in Emergency Medicine, and the first registrars started in their posts in January 2004.
The Division is committed to the education and training of specialist registrars who are supported by a formal academic programme, a mentoring programme, an ongoing evaluation system and final examination preparation support. Undergraduate students at both universities are exposed to emergency medicine teaching. Emergency ultrasound proficiency has become a requirement for the final exit examination and an emergency ultrasound rotation has been developed this year supported by a VLE component.
Due to the expansion of the Division's activities, the Emergency Care Institute South Africa has been created. The Institute plans to cover all essential aspects of emergency medicine, including education and training and outreach into other African countries (including Botswana, Madagascar and Uganda).
These are proving to be exciting times for emergency medicine in the region, and this emerging speciality is fast becoming a vital foundation for health care in South Africa.