The Donald Gordon Medical Centre
The Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) is the first and only private teaching hospital in South Africa. It was established in 2002 when the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) bought the Kenridge Hospital with a founding donation from the Donald Gordon Foundation. The institution was then renamed the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre.
In 2005, Mediclinic Private Hospital Group became a partner with Wits University and was also awarded the management contract.
The hospital was established to create a facility in the private sector to train and retain specialists and sub-specialists in South Africa for South Africa. All training programmes are fully integrated and complementary to the existing training programmes within the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences.
Having successfully encouraged private practitioners to join its mission, the hospital’s occupancy slowly developed to a 50% level and in 2009 finally began making a profit. The hospital now runs at maximum capacity and has established itself as a referral centre for complex surgery in the fields of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Colorectal Surgery ,Oncology Vascular Surgery in particular. The first private Liver Transplant Unit was established in 2004, and the centre now hosts the largest Solid Organ Transplant Programme in the Country.
Training of specialist practitioners started for the first time in 2007 when the first trainees were appointed. Since then it has grown from three registrars and one fellow to seventeen fellowships and six registrars.
A total of 44 Specialists and Sub-specialists have been trained in the last seven years, with 4 times that number receiving a period of training at the facility as part of the rotational training with the other sites in the Wits Health Sciences Faculty Training Platform. All profits generated at the facility are used to fund the training of specialists and sub-specialists. This is augmented by the support of donors, without whom the programme would not have grown to the level that it has.
The Centre has recruited and trained a group of dedicated practitioners who are committed to ensuring the future of health care and training in South Africa, which sets it apart from other private hospitals in the country.
The Centre provides training in disciplines that are currently not available to the same extent, if at all, anywhere else in South Africa, and enables the retention of highly skilled doctors within the country.