The advantages of belonging to a professional body like the SA Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is not always evident, as prospective members often do not realize the range of activities and issues that the Society manage and deal with.
The activities and proceedings of the Society are initiated, piloted and administered by members of the EXCO, whom are elected by majority vote of ordinary members of the ENT Society during an Annual General Meeting. Members of the EXCO fulfill their duties as a service to the members of the ENT profession without remuneration. The main function of the EXCO is to coordinate all activities of the profession through various subcommittees dedicated to work in the interest of members by looking at the needs of the ENT profession.
Pertaining to the various and specific divisions of Otolaryngology practice in South Africa, the EXCO and its subcommittees strive to promote and accomplish the following:
A. The South African Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery:
- Speaks as the collective voice for the Otolaryngology fraternity on provincial and national issues common to Otolaryngology practitioners.
- Protects the boundaries of the specialty in dealing with any unwarranted or suspected encroachment on the area of expertise in Otolaryngology. All actions to the effect will be vigorously opposed or defended by the Society.
- Protects individual members of the Society who are unfairly treated or discriminated against by funders or any third party. This function has been delegated to the ENT Management subcommittee (MANCO).
- Engages proactively with the Department of Health, Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), SA College of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA), South African Private Practitioners Forum (SAPPF) and the South African Medical Association (SAMA) on affairs specifically pertaining to the specialty.
- By assisting in maintaining excellent academic standards, preserves the global high regard for a South African qualification in Otorhinolaryngology.
- Encourages and supports the formation of special interest groups within the specialty.
B. Academic subcommittee:
- Supports interaction, dialogue, planning and improvement of curricula as well as promoting the introduction of new technology and techniques, all serving to improve registrar training to keep abreast with international norms and standards of excellence.
- Encourages research projects and allocates solicited research grants to credible projects of which the quality is secured and controlled, as well as providing funds for statistical analysis of research projects to ensure quality standards.
C. ENT Congress subcommittee (Local organizing committee):
- Arranges for a subcommittee to organize and convene the Annual ENT Congress by selecting relevant topics and inviting reputable speakers.
- Provides a platform for registrars to present papers or posters to an international audience.
- Strives to provide substantially reduced Congress registration fees to paid-up members.
D. Continued Medical Education:
- By supporting a healthy academic environment, enables private otolaryngologists to benefit from journal discussions as well as courses, thus remaining current by means of Continued Medical Education (CME) platforms.
- Provides a platform for securing CPD points through Journal Club discussions, hosting of courses and Annual Congresses where provision is inter alia made for securing ethical points.
- Endorses and promotes support to individual Journal Clubs for journal subscriptions, venue hiring and catering budgets through discussions with the trade on their behalf.
- Provides funds to defray the expenses of the Academic Subcommittee meetings.
- . Provides financial support to registrars who present papers or posters of quality at Congresses by reimbursement of the Congress registration fee as well as awarding a travel grant to registrars residing in a town different from the Congress venue.
- Provides financial awards to registrars who presented papers/posters of excellence at the Congress that qualify for the registrars’ prizes.
- Provides funds for the John Hamilton Training Grant awarded to a candidate selected from state employed consultants.
- Allocates grants to the individual Academic Departments of Otolaryngology for use at their own discretion.
- Provides financial support to Journal Clubs to subscribe to journals where the Journal Club fails to secure sponsorship for the purpose.
- Remunerates the Tariff subcommittee for time spent during office hours in meetings at negotiating forums.
- Funds the maintenance of the ENT website.
F. Peer Review:
- Provides peer review on issues submitted by patients, funders, the legal fraternity and colleagues. During reviews peers qualified in the subspecialty in which the issue is raised are consulted, to render an informed and balanced opinion.
G. Tariff subcommittee:
- Through the tariff subcommittee, negotiates with the relevant institutions to secure fair and equitable recognition of and remuneration for services provided by our discipline. This is an active ongoing process.
H. Practice management:
- Supports and encourages negotiation by the ENT management subcommittee (MANCO) for arrangements, contracts and benefits that may be advantageous to otolaryngologists in general and in private practice specifically, such as group scheme insurance benefits, assessment of funder and hospital group policies, assistance with hospital contracts, practice management assistance and ancillary services.
- Offers through MANCO a group function for collecting and processing of otolaryngology practice related data and research information to facilitate negotiations with funders, the Department of Health, educational bodies and other relevant institutions.
I. Member interaction:
- Provides a forum for all ENT practitioners to interact with one another, call for assistance or information, and solicit collective action on matters of common interest.
J. Member support:
- Assists members and members’ families who have been involved in traumatic incidents with regard to legal and financial advice via MANCO.