President’s Report 2021

Covid 19:
The pandemic continues unabated and has resulted in some difficult times with incomes still markedly reduced. The realities of protecting oneself from becoming infected whilst still trying to earn a meaningful income has stretched us to our limits.

The Federation of South African Surgeons have prepared a document to assist us in this regard where they suggest that all patients due to undergo elective surgeries need to be fully vaccinated prior to their admission.

The Exco decided to grant an amnesty of fees during the worst of the Covid pandemic to our members. The fact that we were able to extend this assistance to our members is due to the careful financial planning that has been put in place by previous committees.

The finances of our society remain sound under the expert guidance of our treasurer Jacques Viljoen – many thanks Jacques for a job well done in very trying times.

Janette, the secretary of our society, is also to be thanked for keeping her fingers on the pulse continuously and for her diligence in fulfilling her duties.

Malpractice Insurance
A recent survey has revealed that 55 percent of surgeons are unaware of the amount of malpractice insurance they have. Recently one of the hospital groups have demanded that each surgeon needs to substantially increase their cover if they are to be allowed to use their facility.

The Exco has commissioned the Chairman of SAPPF to engage with the aforementioned hospital group and the outcome of this discussion will be communicated to our members. This would then be the “benchmark “ of the required cover each member needs.

Academic matters:
Covid has had very detrimental effects on education globally and South Africa has also felt the brunt of it. The academic departments are to be congratulated for continuing the education of our registrars in these difficult times. ENT is the furthest advanced of all specialities in relation to modernization of examination and the assessment format of its registrars.

Our monthly journal clubs have once again proven to be a great success as has the monthly UCT-Africa head and neck meetings. Many thanks to the organizers of these fantastic events.

The Head of Department at Stellenbosch University Prof James Loock is retiring at the end of this year and I congratulate him on running a superb department and wish him well in the years to come.

James also takes over as President of our society for the next three years and I congratulate him and wish him well together with his day Committee of Ian Butler (secretary) and Jacques Viljoen (treasurer). I have every confidence that they will do an outstanding job.

Merit awards:
Merit awards are awarded to those members who, over many years, have given exceptional service to our society. I am pleased to announce that Merit awards have been awarded to Drs Elnemarie Burden, Ray Friedman and MauriceHockman for 2020.

Annual Congress:
Our congress this year is once again a virtual event and Shivesh Maharaj , together with his local organizing committee and Eastern Sun Promotions has put together a superb event which we will enjoy from 29-31 October 2021. We do however look forward to the day when we will once again have a live event where we will be able to interact with each other in person.

The members of our Exco tirelessly give many hours of their time serving our membership. I thank them most sincerely for all their efforts and for the assistance they have given me for the last three years.

The coding committee of our society spend an enormous amount of time in ensuring our financial well-being. We are extremely grateful to them for ensuring that we are adequately reimbursed for our services in an environment which is very constrained.

The future:
We need our younger members to step up to the plate and start getting involved in the administration of our society. Your fresh perspective on matters of societal importance is needed and is eagerly awaited.

Personal thanks:
I thank the members of the Society for the honor of having served as President for the past three years. I especially thank our secretary Janette Pieters who has made my task of being president attainable. Janette you are an extremely diligent and hard working secretary and you do your job with honesty, integrity and always with a pleasant disposition.

I wish all our members well in the years ahead and once again urge everyone to look after themselves in these trying times of our lives.

John H Black
SA Society or ORL-HNS: President