The South African Society for Anaesthesiologists’ (SASA) Wellness
in Anaesthesia Support Group has met with the HPCSA Health Committee to explore
possible areas of collaboration and request greater clarity, support and
preventative measures pertaining to the wellness of medical professionals. This
will likely be the first in a series of meetings, as the Health Committee
welcomed the efforts of SASA to work collectively to address common
The Health Committee
emphasised that they do not see their work as punitive in nature, but rather
intending to be protective of the professional.
They did, however, acknowledge that the language and the process,
governed as it is by legislation, can be daunting and feel threatening.
“We explored ways of making the process and intent clearer
to the medical professional and we shall, through this channel, be sharing
communications in this regard,” SASA says in its latest newsletter. Ways in
which the practitioner can be better supported and advocated for within the
process were also discussed.
Both the HPCSA and SASA agreed that there is a significant
lack of preventative and supportive measures that can ensure a practitioner
does not reach a stage of impairment.
This will require a refocus of priority and resource within the HPCSA.
SASA will support the
Health Committee in its efforts to build the services the country needs to
safeguard the medical professional.