July 16, 2024

SA’s oldest medical association gears up for first in-person conference post-COVID

2 min read

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) will gather in person for its annual conference in Johannesburg in February 2024.

“The country’s oldest and most prestigious association of doctors and medical professionals returns, under the theme, ‘Towards Strengthening Health Systems’: an urgent society-wide rallying cry – especially in the context of SA’s beleaguered public healthcare system. The sobering reality we face is that our healthcare system is in a state of distress and it’s up to all of us in healthcare to ensure it does not collapse,” says conference spokesperson, Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa

Fostering both global and local understanding of our healthcare systems, the association has been a strident advocate for evidence-based policies, ethical governance and technological innovation within the sector.  

The SAMA Clinical Coding Conference, the first of its kind in South Africa, will be co-located at the event.

“SAMA works for the preservation of the medical profession through building up the resilience of our healthcare systems to withstand the challenges that may come, including pandemics, disasters and public health emergencies,” Mzukwa says.

“Having taken learnings from the pandemic years, we now need to urgently future-proof our healthcare systems, build resilience, and establish pandemic-preparedness against current and future outbreaks, including the epidemic of non-communicable and lifestyle diseases that currently grips much of SA and the world.

“This sense of community and solidarity results in a strengthened workforce, and you can see it in SA’s doctors and HCWs [healthcare workers] who punch above their weight in terms of the impact of their work. Our medical field has achieved impressive results even working within the context of SA’s resource-constrained national healthcare system.

“The landmark 2024 conference event will present a platform for knowledge-sharing and networking among medical professionals working at every level, bringing together experts from a wide variety of healthcare fields to contribute to, influence, and reflect on the policies that shape our medical landscape.

“This is an invaluable chance for doctors and HCWs to fortify their strategic networks, and bolster sector-wide collaboration and a high-level conversation about how to advance quality healthcare coverage, with the axiom that healthcare is not just a major industry but a fundamental human right,” Mzukwa advises.

Some of the country’s most respected and celebrated medical minds will take to the stage to share their latest learnings, seminal research findings and emerging best practice considerations, across a variety of pivotal topics.  

The event will kick off with a keynote discussion on “Strengthening Health Systems”, with inputs from Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman and SAMA president Professor Ken Boffard, among others. 

“A healthy population is the cornerstone and prerequisite for economic prosperity. Historically, the SAMA conference has been one of the medical community’s most important annual events. Next year’s influential gathering promises to be a milestone on our journey toward universal healthcare and society-wide health and well-being,” says Mzukwa.

View the conference programme here.

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