The South African Medical Association (SAMA) is a non-profit, Section 21 company that acts as a professional association for both public sector and private practice medical doctors. To this end SAMA has a dedicated Private Practice Department, (PPD) which strives to improve the professional environment of both General Practitioners and Specialists in Private Practice.
SAMA's PPD champions doctors' rights and causes in its interactions with National and Provincial Governments; the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA); other regulators and all the major role players within the healthcare funding and administration industry. The PPD constantly focuses on promoting and strengthening private medical practice in order to protect its fundamental characteristics and promote its pivotal role in the private health care continuum.
SAMA OFFERS THE FOLLOWING TO ALL MEMBERS:
- Protection of doctors' scope of practice by protecting and updating the Medical Doctors Coding Manual
- Full legal services department that reviews all contracts, gives advice pertaining to HPCSA hearings and all other practice related legal issues.
- A medical coding unit that provides free procedural and diagnostic coding advice to SAMA members and their office staff.
- The foremost provider of CME opportunities in conjunction with the Foundation for Professional Development and active engagement with the Branches.
- Online training programmes.
- Two free medical journals and a doctor's non-clinical magazine every month.
THE PRIVATE PRACTICE DEPARTMENT of SAMA reports to its members through the respective General Practitioner and Specialist Private Practice Committees. The PPD itself consists of a Head of Department, Dr Vusumuzi Nhlapho, Ms Leanne Barends, PA to Head of Department; provides the secretariat for each of its constituent committees; a Medical Coding unit headed by Ms Glenda de Beer who is ably assisted by Ms Zandile Dube and Ms Rendani Tendani, Mr Tebogo Sanyane and Cassius Nkosi.
WHAT DOES SAMA DO FOR PRIVATE PRACTITIONERS:
The South Private Healthcare environment is dominated by large companies that have almost limitless funds at their disposal to determine their own financial risks and then pay doctors accordingly. Many of these companies are now so brazen that they have started telling doctors how to treat their patients and how to run their practices. In order to assist doctors to manage the myriad of risks inherent to private practice, SAMA has engaged new technology applications - many of which are unique to SAMA and our members.