Presidents Blog

SASOG Council Blog 16 July 2018

SASOG Blog 15 July 2018

 

Dear SASOG members

 On this Sunday afternoon I am wondering what I did wrong to be asked to write the blog today. It is Sunday 15th of July – Wimbledon men’s finals afternoon, World cup soccer final between Croatia and France and stage nine of the Tour de France is underway. I am sure you will forgive me for keeping this blog short and to the point.

 I have inherited the treasury of SASOG form Beth Pheiffer who has done a splendid job over the past six years. In turn she took over from Ron White who handed over the financials of SASOG in a very healthy position. Over the past six years Beth has not only consolidated the healthy financial position of SASOG, but further strengthened its financial position. Of course, this is only possible with the help of professionals – and here I want to specifically mention Casper Venter and Rinette Conradie of Healthman for their contribution in keeping tabs on the SASOG financials.

 Allow me to highlight a few contributions to our financial health:

  • Over the past three years we have noticed a significant increase in membership. Probably the single most important reason for this was the initiatives launched by Johannes van Waart (ex-President) and the previous Council.
  • Of course, one cannot overlook the contribution from our members in timeous payment of their membership fees. I sense that members perceive their membership fees as value for money and therefore we have little trouble in collecting membership fees. I want to encourage members not currently on debit orders to consider that as an option for paying your membership fees. Please contact Rinette Conradie at Healthman for assistance.
  • Three years ago SASOG contracted PSG to manage our investment portfolio. We have seen a reasonable return on our portfolio over this period but our concern is that their view is a bit conservative and not diverse enough and therefore we have approached another wealth management company for a proposal. The financial committee will consider this proposal and will take a decision whether to give this company a proportion of our funds to invest.   
  • Over the last three years we have had excellent financial support from industry supporting some of SASOG’s activities. Roche has recently confirmed their continued sponsorship of the website. Ilex has sponsored the development of the SASOG app and NextBio has sponsored the BetterObs newsletter. We trust that these sponsorships will also be continued. The SASOG CPD program has been generously supported by Bayer, Cipla, MSD and Adcock Ingram. This generous sponsorship has allowed us to extend the CPD program to smaller regions. We have also received a substantial sponsorship form Constantia which was used to fund the SASOG vision 2030 weekend in November 2017. Last but not least the BetterObs program is generously supported by some of the private hospital groups and others.

 The sole aim of SASOG is not just to grow its investment portfolio. We would like our membership to benefit from its healthy financial position. Members have benefited through the following (to highlight just a few):

  • The SASOG website had a complete facelift just over a year ago. We would like to encourage members to visit the website and use it as an interface to communicate with Council. The SASOG app was developed and allows for real-time communication. The functionality of the app will be further expanded by the website committee over the next year.
  • The CPD program has been expanded over the past two years to some of the smaller regions.
  • Funding for the development and launch of the BetterObs program. Funding will continue as the program is expanded and more protocols are developed.
  • The Expert Opinion Panel was established. Initial funding was provided by SASOG. We trust that the EOP will become financially independent over the next year or two.
  • Registrars have benefited through sponsorship to attend the SASOG congress as well as financial support of SATOG and some of their initiatives.
  • Support of the HOD’s of academic departments in discussion of non-academic matters of common interest. SASOG believes it has an important supportive role to play in this regard.

 SASOG would like to become more involved in financial assistance of research. This funding is currently underutilized by members. We would like to encourage members to approach the Academic liaison committee (ALC) with their research proposals and applications for research funding.

In summary I want to ensure members that SASOG is in good financial health. The financial committee will work towards securing its financial position and the financial support of SASOG activities.

Haynes van der Merwe (Treasurer)

 

 

 

 

SASOG Blog 24 June 2018

Dear SASOG/GMG members

I owe my gratitude to SASOG for giving GMG this platform to enable better communication with its members . We have currently secured a slot on this blog that will allow communication probably every 3 weeks to enable us to keep members up to date with developments within negotiations with funders and other private sector issues.

 

GMG-SASOG relationship has been a source of confusion. The relationship is better clarified through reference to the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between GMG and SASOG which states that GMG is an independent contractor to SASOG. In order to make sure that the activities of GMG are aligned with the interest of SASOG, the SLA has a provision that the SASOG President is co-opted as a member of the GMG board along with another SASOG council member. This will help strengthen SASOG-GMG unity therefore ensuring must more robust engagement with funders through Healthman, a private health care consultancy.

 

 

We have also experienced a change in the leadership of the Board with a new Chairman, and a CEO. We have also created a new post of deputy CEO within the Board. Our new Chairman is myself, Conrad Mashiloane, the new CEO is Bianca Zondagh and the deputy CEO is JP du Buisson. Our other directors include Chris Archer, Ron White, Jack Margolis, Vis Moodley, Malikah Van Der Schyff, Danie Schneider, Howard Manyonga, Greta Dreyer and Miems Kleynhans.

 

We owe a great deal of gratitude to Chris Archer and Ron White. They have done a lot of work to keep GMG strong and respected within the health care funder's industry. They have also created great networks that we can exploit when negotiating for better renumeration for our members and that will also allow collaboration when we have a common agenda. We will always need their advice because of the institutional memory and knowledge.

 

We will continue with Chris and Ron's legacy while developing new strategies to deal with medico-legal problems and the many proposed reforms  which include new managed care policies, national health policy reform through NHI, the threat of reduced clinician autonomy due to proposals by some stakeholders of employment of doctors by private hospitals and many others.

 

Aluta continua

 

Conrad Mashiloane 

(GMG Chairman)

 

 

SASOG Blog 17 June 2018

NEW SASOG COUNCIL BLOG          17 JUNE 2018

STRENGTH IN UNITY

 

My dear colleagues,

 

I was asked to write this week’s SASOG council blog and this is my first attempt at blogging!  I am a long standing SASOG councillor, a health activist and involved in medical politics for over 24yrs - I was actually recruited in my fourth year at medical school. I am involved in many different societies within medicine and our speciality. These societies serve the interests of both public and private medicine and include SASOG, GMG, SAMA (locally and nationally), SA Menopause Society, Mowbray Maternity Hospital Health Facilities Board, Mediclinic Constantiaberg Clinical Hospital Committee and others.

 

Involvement in all of these societies has allowed me a panoramic view of medicine, our speciality, the industry and its various stakeholders. It has opened my world to many different personalities - their missions, strategies, agendas and aims. I believe each entity and member adds value and has its place in being of benefit to our members in both public and private sectors. I firmly believe in strength in unity and that any issues (major or minor) can be addressed transparently and respectfully.

 

Only through unity can we achieve our goals of bettering the profession for our members and our patients. SASOG works with its various affiliates like GMG, SAPPF, SAMA and others to ensure that you are appropriately represented when we engage with relevant stakeholders in the industry.  My fellow councilors (especially the SASOG Exco) work tirelessly and continuously to achieve the above goals.  This is mostly in our not-so-spare limited spare time.

 

Obstetrics and Gynaecology is under threat and with it SASOG members. We are over-worked, under-appreciated, poorly remunerated and often feel victimized and targeted by funders, stakeholders, the legal fraternity, etc. This is before the patient, who has consulted Dr. Google or Midwife Wikipedia, comes to visit with her 103 questions! In order to further support pressurized colleagues practicing in this difficult environment, SASOG will soon be launching a wellness programme. Watch this space for more...

 

I will endeavor to use my panoramic view to bring you snippets or happenings within our O&G world regularly.  I hope it will be of value to you, our members, and assist your understanding of all SASOG is doing.

 

Wishing you much happiness.

 

Malikah Van Der Schyff

Chair: Membership and Nominations Committee

SASOG council blogger

 

SASOG BLOG 10 June 2018

Dear SASOG members

The first BetterObs Management Committee meeting for 2018 was held on 9 June 2018. A number of exciting developments were discussed and will be shared in more detail in the next BetterObs Newsletter. A brief update:

1. Dr Sagie Naidu is back on board and will be the joint National Lead Obstetrician with me for the rest of our term. 

2. The Umbilical Cord pH project will be piloted in 1 hospital in each of the provinces of WC, KZN, S Gauteng and N Gauteng. Feedback will be monitored closely and once all the logistics have been ironed out, this project will be rolled out nationally.

3. A BetterObs abstract was sent to the scientific panel of the FIGO congress (to be held later this year in Rio de Janeiro)  and this abstract was accepted as an oral presentation. A total of more than 6500 abstracts were received. We look forward to share our challenges and attempts to save private practice obstetrics in RSA with the rest of the world.

4. The latest patient information letter (finalized and reviewed by Lut Geerts and her team ) is now ready for distribution and will be sent to all with the next BetterObs Newsletter. This letter is now also in the process of being translated into Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Afrikaans. 

5. Arranging an emergency CS still presents a significant challenge in most hospitals. Clayton Grieve will draw up  guidelines that will be shared with all hospital groups. This will include codes Red, Orange and Green (to indicate relative emergency). It certainly is not the duty of the Obstetrician involved to "beg" a fellow surgeon for a theater to save a life. We believe it will be the duty of the most senior nursing sister in theater to arrange a theater (and staff), while the Obstetrician will arrange for support and live saving measures. Saying this, it will be critical for all colleagues to "play ball" and not take advantage of such a system to "jump the queue" in case of a lesser emergency!

6. In view of the unwillingness of some insurers to embrace the principle of mediation (before litigation), the Expert Opinion Panel (EOP) will write to all major insurers to publicly indicate their willingness to embrace the concept of mediation. The whole of the BetterObs Management Team believes that this concept will be one of the critical cornerstones of "saving" our discipline of obstetrics in the future. We will keep you all updated on the responses of the insurers. We, as the clients, have the right to "enforce" this on our "suppliers". We MUST use that right!

These are some highlights from our meeting. More info to follow in the BetterObs Newsletter.

A good week to all.

Johannes van Waart

(SASOG National Lead Obstetrician) on behalf of the SASOG Exco

 

SASOG Blog 3 June 2018

3 June 2018

SASOG Blog

Dear SASOG member

I was privileged to be invited to a meeting at the National Assembly where the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, presented the 2018/19 Health Budget for South Africa. The key aspects of the health budget are summarised below.

  1. HIV and TB

There are currently 7.1 million people living with HIV in South Africa and 4.2 million people are on treatment. South Africa has the world’s largest treatment programme. The National Surge Campaign that aims to screen 14 million people for HIV and TB will be launched later this month.

South Africa has signed up to the UNAIDS targets of reaching 90-90-90 for HIV by December 2020 as well as the Stop TB partnership’s targets of 90-90-90 for Tuberculosis. These targets simply mean that to bring an end to these 2 diseases we must find 90% of those that are HIV positive and those that have TB, initiate 90% of these on treatment and ensure that 90% of those that are on ARVs are virally suppressed and that 90% of those on TB treatment are successfully cured.

  1. Life-style diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancers

The NDoH aims to screen and treat 7 million people for diabetes and hypertension. A cancer campaign, similar to the HIV counselling and testing campaign will also be launched. The focus will be on providing South Africans with information to prevent, screen and test for cancers such as breast, cervix and prostate. Liquid based cytology will replace traditional pap smears as a screening test. Using a National Algorithm, HPV testing will gradually be introduced as part of the cervical cancer campaign. A significant part of the sugar tax will be used to fund the cancer campaign. Oncology services in KZN and Gauteng will receive R100 million to deal specifically with radiation oncology backlogs.

  1. NHI

National treasury has approved R4.2 billion for implementation of NHI and the Health Planning and Systems Enablement Programme. The aim is to make universal health coverage a reality. The following projects have been identified:

  • School children will be screened for physical barriers (eyesight, hearing, oral hygiene) to learning
  • Specialists from the private sector will be contracted to help with obstetrics care at 11 regional hospitals around the country
  • Screening and treatment of mental illnesses will be prioritised.
  • The private sector will used to relieve the burden on the public health-care system. Approximately 50 000 patients will be allocated to 250 private GPs for ARV treatment between October 2018-December 2020.
  • 3 million patients are currently accessing medication through the centralised chronic dispensing and distribution systems (CCMDD). These patients do not have to queue at clinics or hospitals but receive their medication in selected places of their choice.
  1. Listeria outbreak

Since the recall of meat products from Tiger Brands and Rainbow Chicken, <5 cases of listeria are being reported per week compared with > 40 cases/week prior to the recall. The NICD was congratulated for their sterling work.

 

Kind regards

Priya Soma-Pillay

(For SASOG Exco)

 

 

 

SASOG Blog 27 May 2018

SASOG Blog 27 May 2018

Dear SASOG members

 

The College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (COG), one of the 28 constituent Colleges of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), is responsible for seven different examinations every six months. These include the FCOG Part IA, FCOG Part IB, FCOG Part II, Diploma in Obstetrics, Certificate in Gynaecologic Oncology, Certificate in Maternal and Fetal Medicine and Certificate in Reproductive Medicine. The Certificate in Urogynaecology examination will take place for the first time during the second semester of 2018. The CMSA is since 2014 the only examination body responsible for specialist examinations in South Africa.

 

The first semester 2018 examination effort has just been completed and the results were ratified by the CMSA Senate on 17 May 2017. The FCOG Part II examination was very efficiently managed by the Department Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Cape Town, with Prof Lyn Denny as the convenor. The pass rate for this examination was 71%. Twenty-five candidates were successful in this examination, and on behalf of the COG and SASOG, we want to extend our sincerest congratulations to these new colleagues who have joined our ranks. We wish them well for their future endeavours. Our new colleagues are:

 

Dr KT Abraham

US

Dr U Mbewu

WSU

Dr KA Antwi

WITS

Dr N Mbungu

US

Dr EMC Ati

UKZN

Dr ML Moshokwa

UCT

Dr BHJ Botha

UCT

Dr N Mphantsi

WSU

Dr MA Hlabisi

UKZN

Dr S Naicker

UKZN

Dr MJ Jagiellowicz

UP

Dr M Nchinyani

WITS

Dr H Laloo

WITS

Dr JM Nkurunziza

WITS

Dr VK Leelodharry

UCT

Dr V Ramsundar

UKZN

Dr A Makhele

UFS

Dr LC Sediti

WITS

Dr N Makhubo

UP

Dr S  Shah

US

Dr VD Maringa

WITS

Dr M Venter

UCT

Dr L Matolengwe

WSU

 

 

 

There were also accomplishments in the subspecialist examinations. Congratulations to Dr PJ Geyser, Dr GJ Hanekom and Dr AB Venter who successfully completed the Certificate Reproductive Medicine examination, and Dr K Hapsari and Dr A Maharaj who were successful in the Certificate Gynaecologic Oncology examination.

 

It is important at the same time to recognise the input and efforts of the respective training platforms, head of departments and consultants in full-time and part-time academic practice who have played a major part in the successes mentioned above.

 

A total of fifty-seven examiners were involved in the first semester 2018 examination effort. I would like to make use of this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the valuable and generous contributions made by all of these individuals to ensure a successful, reliable and valid examination effort. The COG relies heavily on the goodwill and co-operation of all examiners who voluntarily and without compensation are frequently available to assist with this important function and contribute to ensure the success of this effort.

 

I also want to acknowledge the respectable and professional co-operative relationship between SASOG and the COG. The President of the COG is represented on SASOG Council, and the COG contributes to the biennial SASOG Congress through the COG Honorary Lectureship, that was delivered this year by Prof BG Lindeque at the very successful SASOG Congress in Durban on 6 March 2018.

                                                

The COG would also like to recognise the good work and innovative initiatives of the immediate past President Dr Johannes van Waart and his Council. On behalf of the COG Council we would like to extend our best wishes to the newly elected SASOG Council and President, Prof Greta Dreyer, for the next triennium. We are looking forward to the continuation of the existing goodwill and professional relationship between SASOG and the COG.

 

Best wishes

Leon Snyman

President: College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

SASOG Blog 20 May 2018

Dear SASOG members

It is a pleasure to write this first note to you as President of SASOG!

As mentioned before, my main task for this term will be to consolidate the great initiatives of the previous President and to ensure sustainability. To this end, the first Exco meeting was held in Durban and we dedicated the meeting partly to formalise and constitutionalise the important Expert Opinion Panel which will now be an affiliate of SASOG. The group received seeding funds from SASOG and will work closely with the Medico-legal Committee as they work to complete all their documents. I also attended the first part of the GMG Board meeting and want to strengthen relations between SASOG and GMG. A future SASOG Exco meeting will focus on this collaboration and clear task descriptions.

The new SASOG committee structure has been approved by the Council and is divided into Education, Membership and Communication, Administration, Practice and Governance, and Clinical Care portfolio’s. The list of committees with contact details of the Chair and responsible Exco member will be placed on the website. Please contact myself or the secretariat (Alison Shaw) with any questions or comments.

Regarding the Education portfolio, it was decided at the previous Council meeting that two CPD meetings will be supported per region, sometimes with the assistance of external sponsorship. Regions should contact their Council representatives and/or Clayton Grieve (Academic meetings Committee) for more information. Also remember to contact this committee when planning a national meeting of an interest group in O&G to prevent conflicting dates. Funding for research, education and training activities will be managed by the Academic liaison committee. Contact Mushi Matjila with requests for funding which should be by members only and on the dedicated application form.

Hope this week will be a good one to everyone even if it is quieter from the media side!

Best regards on behalf of the SASOG Exco Blog team

Greta Dreyer

First Blog of the new Council

13 May 2018

Dear colleagues

After a very productive SASOG Exco meeting on Saturday 12 May, this is the first blog for the new council. The name of the blog will be known as the SASOG BLOG. The blog will be populated by the SASOG exco on a rotational basis in order to keep you updated with all relevant news in the whole O + G discipline. The aim is to write on the blog every Sunday.

1. Prof Priya Soma-Pillay (SASOG Secretary) is part of the health task team to present to Parliament on Monday. She will certainly keep the Womens Health (and SASOG) Banner flying high.

2. Prof Greta Dreyer will be a guest on National TV on Tuesday morning. She will be talking on Hyperandrogenism. The time and TV channel will be communicated to all members on Monday. Good luck to our 2 top ladies on the SASOG council.

3. The constitution and SOP's of the EOMC are almost finished. SASOG Exco is happy that the EOMC is now fully equipped and functional. The referred cases at hand will be attended to as a matter of urgency. We all know that the EOMC will play a major role in alternative dispute resolution and this in turn will play a major roll in ensuring fair outcomes for all in medico-legal disputes.

Good luck and SASOG thanks to Ismail Bhorat and the/his EOMC team.

As this panel is not directly involved in mediation (referring relevant cases to acknowledged Mediation Structures) the name of this panel will change soon to be more accurately descriptive. Watch this space.

Hope that all will have a good week.

Warm regards

SASOG Exco Blog team

First Blog of the new Council

13 May 2018

Dear colleagues

After a very productive SASOG Exco meeting on Saturday 12 May, this is the first blog for the new council. The name of the blog will be known as the SASOG BLOG. The blog will be populated by the SASOG exco on a rotational basis in order to keep you updated with all relevant news in the whole O + G discipline. The aim is to write on the blog every Sunday.

1. Prof Priya Soma-Pillay (SASOG Secretary) is part of the health task team to present to Parliament on Monday. She will certainly keep the Womens Health (and SASOG) Banner flying high.

2. Prof Greta Dreyer will be a guest on National TV on Tuesday morning. She will be talking on Hyperandrogenism. The time and TV channel will be communicated to all members on Monday. Good luck to our 2 top ladies on the SASOG council.

3. The constitution and SOP's of the EOMC are almost finished. SASOG Exco is happy that the EOMC is now fully equipped and functional. The referred cases at hand will be attended to as a matter of urgency. We all know that the EOMC will play a major role in alternative dispute resolution and this in turn will play a major roll in ensuring fair outcomes for all in medico-legal disputes.

Good luck and SASOG thanks to Ismail Bhorat and the/his EOMC team.

As this panel is not directly involved in mediation (referring relevant cases to acknowledged Mediation Structures) the name of this panel will change soon to be more accurately descriptive. Watch this space.

Hope that all will have a good week.

Warm regards

SASOG Exco Blog team

First Blog of the new Council

13 May 2018

Dear colleagues

After a very productive SASOG Exco meeting on Saturday 12 May, this is the first blog for the new council. The name of the blog will be known as the SASOG BLOG. The blog will be populated by the SASOG exco on a rotational basis in order to keep you updated with all relevant news in the whole O + G discipline. The aim is to write on the blog every Sunday.

1. Prof Priya Soma-Pillay (SASOG Secretary) is part of the health task team to present to Parliament on Monday. She will certainly keep the Womens Health (and SASOG) Banner flying high.

2. Prof Greta Dreyer (SASOG President) will be a guest on National TV on Tuesday morning. She will be talking on Hyperandrogenism. The time and TV channel will be communicated to all members on Monday. Good luck to our 2 top ladies on the SASOG council.

3. The constitution and SOP's of the EOMC are almost finished. SASOG Exco is happy that the EOMC is now fully equipped and functional. The referred cases at hand will be attended to as a matter of urgency. We all know that the EOMC will play a major role in alternative dispute resolution and this in turn will play a major roll in ensuring fair outcomes for all in medico-legal disputes.

Good luck and SASOG thanks to Ismail Bhorat and the/his EOMC team.

As this panel is not directly involved in mediation (referring relevant cases to acknowledged Mediation Structures) the name of this panel will change soon to be more accurately descriptive. Watch this space.

Hope that all will have a good week.

Warm regards

SASOG Exco Blog team

Contact us

Mrs Joey Hanekom
SASOG/GMG (HealthMan)
Tel : 011 340 9041
Fax : 086 651 6649
info@sasog.co.za