Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) was established in 2002 in response to what the Faculty of Health Sciences perceived as a gap in the training of Sub-Specialists in South Africa. Dedicated funding for sub-specialists was not available in the public sector at that time, which would have led to a situation where the faculty would not be able to continue producing sub-specialists, thereby having a negative impact on the delivery of health care for all South Africans. The faculty was also concerned about the ability of the public sector to invest in new technology and remain competitive with international standards, which would impact on the training of doctors at all levels.
In 2002, the University responded to this crisis by acquiring the Kenridge Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg, to be the site of the first (and only) Private Academic Hospital in the country. This was made possible as the result of a generous donation from Sir Donald Gordon.
The establishment of this facility allowed the University to extend sub-specialist training into the private sector to complement the existing Public Sector training programme, and increase the resources available to the Faculty for the training of Specialists and Sub-specialists.
It also created a site for public sector doctors to do their private work in a controlled and regulated environment and draw doctors from the private sector back into the Academic sector to make a positive contribution to the training of medical specialists and sub-specialists.