Today the annual South African Medical Association (SAMA) Conference has launched with the aim of bringing together some of the most prominent healthcare professionals in South Africa to discuss this year’s theme ‘Universal Access to Healthcare’ and more.

The conference is taking place the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg between 21 and 23 October 2016 and will also include the SAMA Annual Doctor’s Awards and Gala Dinner – at which Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to deliver the keynote address.

“As the representative body for medical professionals in South Africa, this conference is an important event for those involved in healthcare. Apart from the overall theme, the conference will also devote time to issues around Breast Cancer, a topical inclusion in Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said SAMA in a statement.

The start of the event will be dedicated to the ‘Universal Access to Healthcare’ theme, where President and CEO of Evidence Based Solutions, Prof Olive Shisana, will present on the topic followed by a panel discussion where she’ll be joined by Prof Hoosen Coovadia and Prof Alex Van Den Heever from the University of the Witwatersrand.

The rest of the first day will focus on various cancer screening practices, diabetes management and integrative medicine in private practice – all of which will be followed by interactive Q&A sessions.

The remaining sessions will focus an array of healthcare topics, from a presentation from Deputy-Director, Head of Division, and Head of Travel Health at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Prof Lucille Blumberg, on the risk of the Zika virus in South Africa, to managing complex systems in the public health sector, led by Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Head of Health Policy and Management at the School of Health Systems and Public Health (SHSPH) at the University of Pretoria, Dr Flavia Senkubuge.

There will also be a session led by former Chief Specialist- Critical Care Medicine at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Prof Rudo Mathivha, dedicated to the use of eHealth, titled ‘Using innovation to bring health to the nation – Telemedicine,’as well as session on how medical schools can respond to the country’s health challenges.

The full SAMA Conference programme can be found here.

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