A reflection on the South African Medical Association – past, present and future
The South African Medical Association (SAMA) recently adopted changes to its Memorandum of Incorporation and Rules that effectively realigned the organisation's governance structure into a fully-fledged member-based organisation. At its core is the ongoing obligation of SAMA to transform, with 50% of all elected SAMA structures needing to be occupied by historically disadvantaged South Africans. SAMA was formed in 1997 and effected in 1998 through the amalgamation of the then Medical Association of South Africa (MASA) and a number of Partner Organisations. It is now almost 2 decades old and has seen many challenges, both from within and without. Despite this, it has remained the only broad-based doctor-only representative body in South Africa. Its structure is dominated by two membership committees, the public sector having now formalised itself into a trade union for employed doctors, with both general practitioners and specialists catered for by the private practice membership department. Many challenges remain, and SAMA has positioned itself to deal effectively with issues affecting doctors in a manner that ensures the profession remains united in the interests of delivering the best healthcare we can to our patients.
Mzukisi Grootboom, Chairman, South African Medical Association, Pretoria, South Africa
Mark Sonderup, Vice-Chairman, South African Medical Association, Pretoria, South Africa
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Date published: 2014-05-05
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