Academy Newsletter

Published: 09/07/2020

From the President’s Desk

Dear Colleagues,

In May the theme of World Family Doctor’s Day was “family doctors on the frontline”. As family doctors we remain on the frontline of the COVID-19 epidemic and I hope that all our members are managing to stay safe while continuing to offer services to our patients.

The SA Academy of Family Physicians has published a CPD article on primary care management of COVID-19  and created a resource hub on our website.

Passing of Dr Andre Marais

It was with great sadness that we informed you of the passing of Dr Andre Marais. He was a valued member of our National Council since 2017. He was a good friend to many, a dedicated colleague and a great physician. Our sincerest condolences to his colleagues, family and friends. He will be missed.

New short courses

Not everything is about COVID-19 and I am excited to announce the launch of our new series of on-line short courses. The first course focuses on hypertension in pregnancy and brings members up to date with new guidelines that were published at the end of 2019.

This course was developed with Prof Bob Pattinson from University of Pretoria, who has been leading education on maternal care around the country as well as Prof Mergan Naidoo from Family Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Our members, of course, get a substantial discount.

We are also in the process of finalizing the second short course on brief behaviour change counselling which will be announced soon.

National health insurance

Although progress with the implementation of NHI is somewhat on hold with the COVID-19 epidemic we have continued with our series on unpacking the NHI Bill in collaboration with Dr Nicholas Crisp from the National Department of Health. Part 2 of the series on accreditation of primary care practices has been published.

Changes to Academy activities

As with almost all parts of South Africa society the Academy has had to modify its activities in light of the epidemic.
The National Conference has been postponed to August 2021, but will still be organised in Pretoria by Dr Lindi Shange and her team from Gauteng and the University of Pretoria.

The SA Family Practice Journal has continued to publish on-line, but the print version was held up in the lockdown and will only be disseminated once people are back at work. We plan to circulate the first and second editions of the journal together.

Wonca World

The Wonca World Conference in Abu Dhabi was postponed to 2021 and this will also affect the timeline for our bid to host the conference in 2024. The bid had been prepared to host the global conference in Cape Town and was due for submission in July this year. It is likely that we will now bid in 2021 for the conference in 2025.

Prof Bob Mash, the President of the Academy, was also included as a featured doctor on the Wonca World website earlier this year.

New council

Despite the lockdown we have continued with the nominations and elections for a new Academy Council. The new Council will take office at an AGM in November this year. The members of the new Council will be:

A Representative nominated by each of the academic departments of Family Medicine of South African universities:
• SU Prof Bob Mash
• UCT Dr Tasleem Ras
• UKZN Prof Andrew Ross
• UP Prof Indiran Govender
• UFS Prof Hanneke Brits
• SMU Dr Susan Nnanile Nyalunga
• WITS Dr Nonhlanhla Khumalo
• WSU Dr Olukayode Adeleke
• UL Dr Sizeka Maweya

A Representative nominated by the Rural Doctor’s Association of SA:
• Dr Jenny Nash

A Trainee representative nominated by the official registrar association for Family Medicine:
• Dr Chantelle van der Bijl

An Associate representative from associate members:
• Position not filled

4 (four) additional members (not affiliated to a university):
• Dr Biano Hobson
• Dr Wim Beukes
• Position not filled
• Position not filled

Keep well and stay safe.

Prof Bob Mash
SAAFP President

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