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Save the Date – Ethics 4 All 2013

Our annual ethics event provides an opportunity for members to examine ethical challenges and obtain CEU points for the ethical component of their professional development.

The events are free of charge for MPS members. Ethics 4 All has been running for the past five years, and last year more than 2,500 delegates attended across three locations.

In 2013 we are delighted to be hosting three events:

  • DURBAN: Sunday 1 December 2013 (morning event)
    • Venue: Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel
    • In conjunction with KZNMCC
    • Chaired by Dr Mzukisi Grootboom, Chairperson, South African Medical Association (SAMA) 
  • PRETORIA: Monday 2 December 2013 (evening event)
    • Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre
    • In conjunction with Ampath
    • Chaired by Professor Martin Veller, Professor and Head, Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand   
  • CAPE TOWN: Wednesday 4 December 2013 (evening event)
    • Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)
    • In conjunction with PathCare
    • Chaired by Dr Mark Sonderup, Vice Chairperson, South African Medical Association (SAMA)

2013’s programme has been developed to cover core bioethical and medicolegal issues, based on feedback from last year’s events, and includes:

  • Walking the Ethical Tightrope – Falling Foul of Ethics – Trends in Complaints and Claims; MPS Claims Experience in South Africa; Common Problems 
  • Ethics of Managed Healthcare Resources – Squeeze on Private Health; Undercover Reporting and Distributive Justice 
  • Adverse Events in Healthcare and the Ethics of an Apology – The Importance of Being Open; Raising Concerns; Professionalism and Criticising Colleagues 
  • Mastering Shared Decision Making – Unreasonable Patient Demands; Appropriate and Informed Choices about Treatment; Patient Decision Making.

Dr Graham Howarth, MPS Head of Medical Services (Africa) says: “Set against the backdrop of an adverse claims environment and increasing complaints to the HPCSA, providing support and guidance to doctors about ethical issues by way of these conferences is both timely and fulfils a key educational need.”

Registration for the events will open in August 2013 and members will be alerted via email once registration is live. A full copy of the conference programme can be found here.

For more information please contact:

Changes to scope of MPS indemnity for fetal anomaly scan

MPS will no longer offer indemnity to GPs and other non-specialist healthcare professionals conducting ultrasound scans to check for fetal anomalies. This will affect members who renew their MPS membership from 1 October 2013.

MPS is concerned by the heightened risk faced by healthcare professionals who perform detailed fetal ultrasound scans. A failure to detect abnormalities can be due to deficiencies in equipment, training issues or lack of detail in the scan reports produced, and is expected to lead to a significant increase in the cost of claims.

When members renew from 1 October 2013, only specialists in obstetrics, gynaecology and radiology will continue to be indemnified by MPS for performing detailed scans to detect fetal anomalies, with radiologists being charged a higher subscription rate. Members whose annual renewal date falls before 30 September 2013 will not be affected by these changes until they renew in 2014.

GPs and radiographers will still be able to access indemnity for carrying out basic ‘dating’ scans

GPs and radiographers will still be able to access indemnity for carrying out basic ‘dating’ scans, limited to the confirmation of pregnancy, its location and gestational age by measurement of crown-rump length or biparietal diameter in the first trimester of pregnancy, but will now be charged the ‘Procedural GP’ subscription rate.

These changes have been carefully considered and are in line with MPS policies on ensuring members are appropriately trained and experienced in the procedures they carry out. Specialists who can continue to perform detailed scans have a duty to ensure the equipment they use is fit for purpose. More information can be found here.

Members who will be affected by this change and have concerns about the impact on their practice can contact us for more information:

Moves for cheaper medicines

South Africa plans to overhaul its intellectual property laws to improve access to cheaper medicines. This will make it harder for pharmaceutical firms to register and roll-over patents for drugs.

The reforms aim to close a loophole known as “ever-greening”, where drug companies slightly modify an existing drug whose patent is about to expire and then claim it is a new drug, thereby extending patent protection – and profits.

If approved by parliament, the changes should mean cheaper medication for cancer and HIV/AIDS in South Africa.

The reforms aim to close a loophole known as “ever-greening”
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