Academy quarterly newsletter

Published on: 19 December 2019

From the President’s desk

Season’s greetings

The Academy wishes all our members a restful and restorative summer holiday season. For those celebrating Christmas, we wish you a Happy Christmas with friends and family. We look forward to working for you further in the New Year.

This is also a time of transition for many doctors  as newly qualified doctors become interns, interns become community service doctors, registrars finish their training and look for family physician posts. This is often a stressful time for senior doctors as they cope with the transitions, holidays and ongoing service delivery. This is also a time for retirement, another transition. I am aware that Prof Derek Hellenberg, the Head of Family Medicine at University of Cape Town, is retiring, although he remains the President of the College of Family Physicians until the end of his term. We wish him well in his transition.

South African Family Practice

The SAFPJ has now transferred to the new publisher AOSIS, who take over from the beginning of 2020. We thank MedPharm for their support of the SAFPJ over many years and anticipate a new look and feel for the journal. The Editor-in-Chief, Dr Klaus von Pressentin, is planning a broad range of Continuing Professional Development articles, which will be published on-line as well as in the print version, four times a year. Members will continue to receive the print version as a benefit and during 2020 we may explore other options using more up-to-date technology. Members will also be able to access their CPD points via eCPD and the questionnaire in the print edition. The journal will continue to publish editorials, open forum articles, original research and mastering your fellowship. After many years we say goodbye to Dr Chris Ellis and his column and thank him for his stimulating reflections on life as a family physician.

National Family Practitioners Conference 2020

The conference will be 17-19th July in Pretoria and we ask you to save the date. We will communicate further details early in 2020.

Continuing professional development

The Academy has signed a MOU with AOSIS and eCPD to create more short courses on-line. We will release the first two courses on Brief Behaviour Change Counselling and Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy early in 2020.

Dr Zelra Malan has stepped down as Chair of the CPD committee and Dr Andrew Ross has replaced her. We thank her for her work on accrediting CPD for the Academy over several years. If you have suggestions for future short courses then please feel free to contact Dr Andrew Ross with your learning needs.

National Health Insurance survey

Many of you contributed to our survey on your views regarding NHI. A summary of your responses is published on-line and has been submitted to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. In 2020, we hope to have a regular column in the SAFPJ that addresses many of your questions and concerns.

New internship programme for family medicine

Starting in 2020 there will be a new internship programme in the country. The programme will still take 2-years to complete, but will now include 6-months of family medicine and primary care. This rotation will be in the second year of internship so that interns are prepared by rotations through the essential hospital disciplines in their first year. We hope that this will not only prepare interns better to work in the complex environment of primary care and district health services, but will also inspire many to consider a career in family medicine.

Family physicians in the private sector

Dr Shadrick Mazaza reports that Discovery Health are busy sorting out the remaining technical issues with properly recognizing the expertise of family physicians in their network and their status as specialists in family medicine. It sounds like other medical schemes are busy putting together their own plans for family physicians. We will continue to engage with and monitor developments and advocate further if necessary.


In 2020 Wonca World will hold the 23rd global family medicine conference in Abu Dhabi from 25-29th November. Some of you may be interested in presenting or attending. The theme is “Together, We Own the Future”. I am also seriously considering a bid for the 2024 Wonca World conference to come to Cape Town and if we go ahead with this will need to make our bid in Abu Dhabi. The conference has not been in Africa since 2001.

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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Promote optimal health for the people in Southern Africa through advocacy, support and the development of the primary health care team, and the establishment of an equitable, humane and integrated district health care system.

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