2020, a year of challenges and achievements on our path together into the future


  • Phillip Webster


Every year, the SAOA is presented with hurdles to overcome, and 2020 certainly lived up to this. We have all been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but we have survived the onslaught and we live to fight another day. I commend all of you who were directly involved in treating patients during this period for the manner in which you buckled down to often menial tasks and working outside of your comfort zone. I congratulate all academic departments and the College of Orthopaedic Surgeons for your ability to adapt to the new virtual environment and continue with teaching our students and registrars. It was a remarkable achievement to have been able to host a virtual exit exam. No other English-speaking association was able to achieve this. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit us hard, but as a nation, we appear to have come through the first surge without exceeding capacities, and the very low death rate as well as protection of valued healthcare practitioners has been a great success. During this time, the SAOA has worked hard behind the scenes together with Business for SA (B4SA), the South African Medical Association (SAMA), the South African Private Practitioners Forum (SAPPF), hospital groups and the Department of Health (DOH) to try to smooth the path through the pandemic as much as possible. We have managed to get indemnity for work outside scope of practice with insurers, and through the DOH contract, we negotiated relief of premiums with malpractice and have played a role in securing PPE through a weekly meeting with B4SA.

Author Biography

Phillip Webster

Past President (2020): South African Orthopaedic Association







Message from the President