MPS members in South Africa will soon benefit from a more local service, with the announcement that the handling of cases and clinical negligence claims is to be based in-country and managed by a local team.
As a global organisation MPS is committed to getting as close to members as possible, providing a tailored service that supports them in dealing with issues of local relevance and urgency. With medicolegal and dentolegal services available in-country, it means our support for members will be geographically more accessible than ever before.
In 2019 alone, we opened more than 3,000 medical and dental cases in South Africa, which ranged from handling complaints, writing reports and general medico/dentolegal advice, to more complex issues such as claims of clinical negligence, HPCSA matters, inquests and criminal investigations.
A further advantage for members is the extensive experience of the clinical negligence expert who will be managing these new services. Ulundi Behrtel will be Head of Service Delivery for MPS in South Africa. A lawyer – who holds a Certificate in Medicine and Law from the University of South Africa – Ulundi has an impressive background in medical law and malpractice.
She has worked as in-house legal adviser on professional conduct to the Registrar at the South African Nursing Council, as senior military law officer in the South African Military Health Service, as senior state law adviser and researcher to the South Africa Law Reform Commission, and as the Head of the Human Rights, Law and Ethics Unit at the South African Medical Association.
Most recently, she has been Claims Manager at EthiQal Medical Risk Protection in South Africa. Ulundi will join MPS on 2 March, with a plan to have the office fully operational in the next 12-18 months. We are considering the Gauteng Province in Pretoria for the office but have not yet confirmed a location.
Ulundi Behrtel says: “I am delighted to join MPS and play a leading role in continuing the growth and development it has seen for more than 60 years in South Africa. MPS has a long tradition of supporting doctors and dentists in South Africa and I am looking forward to building on this and becoming even closer to members than we have been previously.”
With Ulundi in post MPS underlines its dedication to establishing a stronger presence in South Africa; a move that will not only enable us to better understand and address the concerns of members there, but which will also help provide us with increased clarity of the risks and trends faced by practitioners.
Melanie Rowles, Director of Delivery Services at MPS, adds: “Getting closer to members wherever they are in the world is a key part of the MPS strategy, which is designed to ensure we are best placed to meet the increasingly diverse range of issues faced by doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals. I was thrilled to appoint someone of the calibre of Ulundi, and members in South Africa are going to benefit enormously from the many years of experience she has gained in the healthcare legal field.”
The expanding MPS business in South Africa has also been boosted by another key appointment. Graham Craig is the new Regional Business Development Lead for South Africa and brings a wealth of experience from the financial services industry, including several senior executive roles and most recently the position of Chief Executive Officer of AA Insurance. During the course of his career Graham has been responsible for geographical expansion, strategy and innovation for several national and multi-national companies.
Graham has already joined MPS and says: “MPS is a market leader with a proud history, and I was attracted to the fact that MPS operates across the world, which will enable me to gain insight and access trends that are happening globally. The MPS values are extremely closely aligned to my personal values. I am ambitious, tenacious and customer focused, and thrive in environments where accountability and empowerment are the norm.”