Academy quarterly newsletter

Published on: 04 November 2019

In this newsletter:

1. From the President’s desk

2. Internship 2020

3. New SAAFP website launched

4. Reflections from the 23rd Rural Health Conference 2019

5. Wonca Africa News

6. Earn all your CEU’s free of charge each year

From the President’s desk

National Family Practitioners Conference and National Health Insurance

A very successful National Family Practitioners Congress was held in Midrand from 23-25 August. The theme of the congress was National Health Insurance and the primary care team. The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr J Phaahla, invited us to make constructive feedback on the NHI Bill that is now before Parliament. During October we asked members for their feedback on the Bill and a summary of the responses from 95 members is given on the website

Thanks to Prof Olufemi Omole, Dr Richard Cooke and the conference organising committee based at the University of Witwatersrand for their hosting of the conference and organization of the scientific programme.

The next national congress will be organized by the University of Pretoria and the convener will be Dr Lindi Shange.

Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo

The National Conference was overshadowed by the passing of Professor Gboyega Ogunbanjo on the 17th August. We held a memorial for him at the conference, which was attended by his family, and delegates had the chance to write their memories and messages in a book of remembrance. This was handed to the family at his memorial service at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. His enormous contribution to the Academy as Editor-in-Chief of the SA Family Practice Journal, President and Vice-President will be long remembered.


Physicians for Planetary Health

If the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet, according to a report by Health Care Without Harm. In response to the growing public health issues as a result of climate change and other environmental crises and because the health industry is also part of the problem, the Academy has become a member of Clinicians for Planetary Health. We will be looking at how the Academy should practically respond as we go forward.

Internship 2020

In 2020 the internship program will be changing. It will still be two years, it will still be a compulsory statuary requirement BUT it will be repacked to accommodate an increased number of interns, to expand into the primacy care platform and align with the PHC agenda of the National Department of Health .

Interns starting in 2020 and subsequent years will need to complete 4 rotations of 3 months in medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and surgery in their first year of internship. The second year will be divided into two rotations each comprising of six months viz Family Medicine / primacy care (FM-PC and orthopaedics, anaesthetics and psychiatry (2 months each). The interns will swop over on the 1st July of the year.

During the six months FM-PC rotation, interns are expected to have exposure to emergency medicine, chronic care (comprising communicable and non-communicable conditions), maternal care, child health and acute care. This exposure can occur at a district hospital or at a community health centre (CHC) or at a primary care (PC) clinic. The HPCSA guidelines stipulate that interns must spend one month each of an Accident and Emergency  department, a district hospital inpatient ward and at a CHC or PC clinic outside of a DH. The logistics of the rotations are dependent upon the facilities available in the training complex. A Family Physician or a medical officer with at least three years of experience in Family Medicine must take responsibility for coordinating the rotations and the internship training program in each training complex.

Facilities where interns rotate should be chosen based on the support and supervision available (as internship is a training period, supervision and onsite support is compulsory) as well as the availability of appropriate facilities (such as access to a consulting room).

Interns, with support and supervision should be productively involved in service delivery, teaching, audit and guideline development. Family Medicine should embrace this opportunity and be actively involved in the teaching, supervision and support of interns to ensure that they have a positive and productive experience and better understand the role of the doctor in PC. The six month intern rotation provides an opportunity to Family Medicine to strengthen the PC platform and ensure better care is provided to patients as well as providing greater support to the nursing staff.

Yours sincerely
Prof Andrew Ross

New SAAFP website launched

We have updated our website with a fresh new look. We hope that you like it!

Reflections from the 23rd Rural Health Conference 2019

The 2019 Rural Health Conference was held in Port Shepstone, KZN from 5th-7th September. The Rural health conference comprises of a number of organisations, namely RuDASA (Rural doctors association of SA), RuReSa (Rural Rehab), PACASA (Clinical associates), RMHC (Rural Mental health) and RuNurSA (Rural nursing). There were approximately 215 people who attended each day, which included medical students from a number of universities.



The theme of the conference was Izwi lomphakathi wasemakhayaThe Rural Voice. This had two sub themes:

  • Hearing our Voice: presentations from or about the community we serve so that we can contextualise their needs and develop service delivery and research practice for the future. This included the work of students, community workers, traditional and faith based healers, as well as the broader community.
  • Acting on our Voice: Best practice ideas for building young professionals so they can survive & thrive, building dialogue with local communities and their healers, and solutions for good practice despite poor resources, and best practice for influencing service development and good practice.

The keynote speakers were:
Prof Francois Venter: South Africa and HIV in 2019: What is rural medicine to make of all this
Mrs Bongiwe Zuma: Ungakwenza kwenzeke – You can do it – it is possible
Inkosi Muziwenhlanhla Ngcobo: The Role of Traditional Leaders in Health Care
Sumaiyah Docrat & Donela Besada: Mental health system costs, resources and constraints in South Africa: a national survey and case study for universal health coverage
Mrs Gcina Radebe: Social accountability in healthcare practice-a nursing perspective

The Annual Awards were presented to the following people:
The Rural Doctor of the Year”: Dr Andrew Miller Madwaleni Hospital Eastern Cape.
The Rural Rehabilitation Person of the Year”: Undine Rauter, Gelukspan Hospital Northwest
Rural Nurse of the Year”: Thembisa Theodora Nxokweni
The Clinical Associate of the Year”: Sinovuyo Dimanda Madwaleni Hospital Eastern Cape

A Special Award was presented to Malamulele Onwards for the Best Rural Rehabilitation Organisation.

Once again it was an inspiring conference to attend. There were discussions about how to provide mentorship and support for community service health care workers and Cuban trained doctors. We look forward to the 2020 Rural Health conference, which is likely to be held in Limpopo.

Dr Jenny Nash

Wonca Africa News

WONCA Africa had a meeting with the WHO AFRO team before I joined the WHO AFRO Regional Committee Meeting 19-23rd August as observer. This is where African Ministers of Health get reports from the WHO AFRO Regional Director, Dr. Moeti. I had strong engagement with a host of key people in this time including some ministers of health. Our plan is to have WHO AFRO Country Representatives facilitate interactions between our country Member Organisations and high-level government officials in those countries to address challenges of PHC and the role of family doctors there. An understanding between WONCA Africa and WHO AFRO is being finalised.

WONCA Africa is championing the development of the African Forum for Primary Health Care (AfroPHC), bringing together all healthcare professionals, workers and stakeholders at the African coalface in primary care to ensure that we ALL have a voice in policy on PHC in Africa. This collaboration may become the global leader in developing the WHO’s position on teamwork in PHC. We plan to have a meeting of PHC team leaders from across Africa in June 2020 in Johannesburg to build AfroPHC. See the new website and reach out to key leaders if you want to be part of this meeting. We need ordinary frontline healthcare workers to get engaged. Join AfroPHC here. Keep tabs on AfroPHC via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Telegram. Circulate this to all PHC team colleagues in Africa and get them to join AfroPHC here.

Prof Shabir Moosa

Earn all your CEU’s free of charge each year

All paid up SAAFP members have access to the print CPD activities in the South African Family Practice journal as well as it’s online CPD courses. With the collaboration of AOSIS eCPD all SAAFP members also have free, unlimited access to eCPD’s Signature courses, giving our members the ability to earn all the required clinical and ethics CEU’s each year at no additional cost. Members are automatically registered on the site when they become a member.  Read here for more information on how to navigate the website.

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