Published on: 19 February 2019
Survey of members
An online survey was conducted in 2018 to elicit the views of members on the work of their Academy. Respondents were asked about what issues the Academy should be tackling, what existing benefits they made use of and what they would like the Academy to do for them in future. Although only a relatively small number of members responded, I thought it was worth sharing the information that was obtained.
Issues to be addressed
The two leading issues were advocacy and the private sector. Advocacy referred to being a voice for the discipline and our members with government and regulatory bodies. We need to talk about the
principles of family medicine in the health system, the issues facing our members on the ground and the need for more registrar and family physician posts in the public sector. People also referred to engagement with other stakeholders such as Wonca and Towards Unity for Health. In terms of the private sector people were asking for the Academy to advocate for appropriate recognition and
remuneration of specialists in family medicine.
Other issues that were mentioned included addressing the implementation of national health insurance, needs for continuing professional development, issues with registration at the HPCSA, support for registrars in training and education as well as clarifying the role of the family physician in the health system.
Use of benefits
The two benefits that people used most were the South African Family Practice Journal and the annual National Family Practitioners Conference. People also made use of the various Continuing Professional Development activities in the journal, eCPD and face-to-face meetings in some areas. Some of the academic members made use of the discount on publishing research in the journal.
Requests for the future
Many respondents were satisfied with the current benefits, but an equal number also asked for more on-line and face-to-face continuing professional development activities. People also asked for more communication, networking and connectivity to organisations such as Wonca. Some people also suggested that we organise annual regional workshops and provide or negotiate for more discounts on services from the Academy or other organisations.
Despite the low response rate the survey has provided some feedback and guidance to the Exco on what to focus on as we move forward into a new year. Thanks to all that completed the survey.