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The vision of the Primary Health Care Directorate is a Health Science Faculty that promotes equity and quality in health care, guided by the primary health care approach. The Directorate aims to promote the primary health care approach in teaching, research, policy, health services and community engagement by the Faculty of Health Sciences. Its objectives are to integrate a primary health care approach into the faculty’s undergraduate and postgraduate curriculae by means of extending and developing the faculty’s clinical teaching platform in rural and primary care sites; deepening community engagement within the health service and the faculty’s curriculae; enhancing the recruitment and support of students of rural origin in the faculty; and increasing inter-disciplinary research in health sciences. The mission of the PHC Directorate is to promote equitable, comprehensive, compassionate and quality care at all levels of the health system by means of the recognition of diversity and culture; evidence-based practice and policy; active health promotion; community-based education; and strategic partnerships.

We are the future of the South African health system. We have learned health in a way vastly different to the health professional graduates of the 20th century. There is a great emphasis on empathy, respect, patient-autonomy and patient-centred care in our education; these concepts are often missed and patients’ rights are infringed upon in many public facilities. Exposing students at a young age, early in their careers, displays the harshness of reality, and encourages them to be better health professionals and people, as well as to educate their peers and improve the current behaviour and attitude of health professionals. The future of health is in our hands!