Dear Colleagues.

This year has surely been unlike any other. Who would have thought when we first heard the reports from China about a new virus, that by August 2020 our lives would be affected so dramatically on a personal as well as professional level.

We, as the SASREG Executive Committee would like to extend our condolences to all parties that have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic in any way. These are difficult times and we wish each and every one the strength to see it through to the end.

To do our part to alleviate the burden to the SASREG members, the Board is happy to announce that all membership fees for 2020 have been waived. Anybody who has already paid their 2020 membership fee will have this money credited to their account for the 2021 term.

During the start of 2020, the SASREG board has actively worked on guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines are available to all on the SASREG website (

Apart from writing and updating of SARS-CoV-2 guidelines, we would like to report on the activities of SASREG over the past five months.

Elections for 2020-23 term

After a successful online election process, the representatives on the SASREG Board, as well as the Embryology and Psychology SIG Committees for the 2020-23 term are as follows:


  • Dr. Sulaiman Heylen (President)
  • Dr. Jack Biko (Vice-president)
  • Prof Igno Siebert (Honorary Treasurer)
  • Mr. Gerhard Boshoff (Honorary secretary)
  • Dr. Danie Botha (Past President)
  • Dr. Abri de Bruin
  • Dr. Nomathamsanqa Matebese
  • Dr. Yusuf Dasoo
  • Dr. Victor Hulme
  • Dr. Gerhard Hanekom
  • Dr. Sagie Naidu
  • Ms. Gloria Raidani
  • Ms. Mandy Rodrigues
  • Dr. Chris Venter

Embryology Special Interest Group Committee

  • Mr. Gerhard Boshoff (Chairperson)
  • Ms. Marisa Marais (Vice-chair)
  • Dr. Michelle Rijsdijk (Treasurer)
  • Mr. Aqeel Morris (Secretary)
  • Mr. Neville Moodley
  • Ms. Gloria Raidani

Psychology Special Interest Group Board

  • Ms. Mandy Rodrigues (Chairperson)
  • Ms. Daksha Hargovan (Vice-Chair)
  • Ms. Cal Volks (Secretary)
  • Ms. Leanne van der Westhuizen (Past Chair)

Medical Aid Reimbursement of ART Treatment

During the past three months, Drs. Heylen and Biko have been in communication with one of the largest Medical Aid groups in South Africa, to discuss reimbursement of ART treatment cycles.

This has been attempted in the past as well, but at that time was unsuccessful due to various unknown issues. The current negotiations with the medical aids were made easier by the availability of the newly signed off South African National Guidelines for Safe Conception and Infertility.  These guidelines attempt to address the reproductive rights of all citizenships as enshrined in the Bill of rights as stated in the South African Constitution.

With the additional support of other documents compiled by the SASREG board and the understanding that ART services will only be reimbursed if performed in SASREG accredited units, an Actuarial scientist was then included in the negotiating team to assist in determine the estimated long term costs of ART treatment and possible savings in ICU admissions of preterm babies arising from double embryo transfer. This implies that SASREG accredited clinics may have to do an elective single embryo transfer in most of the patients and double embryo transfer only in the poor prognosis and patients of advanced age.

As the dialogue continues, we are hoping to be able to report a positive outcome to our members in future.

Hysteroscopy in the office setting

The practice of office hysteroscopy is being promoted, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, Prof Siebert, in conjunction with our colleagues at SASGE, will also be in consultation with Medical Aid groups to re-open the case of them paying for these procedures. This project is still in the early stages and we will see with interest how this develops.

Conferences and meetings
As we are all aware, all major conferences and meetings that were scheduled for 2020 had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hoping and planning to resume these meetings in 2021.

In the meanwhile, we are excited to announce the addition of webinar software to the services on offer to our members. This software was acquired to assist with the demand to continue with meetings during the time of COVID and the first webinar-based Embryology SIG meeting was hosted on 27 June.

The software is available to any SASREG member or group, who wishes to host a webinar. A small fee would be charged for the upkeep of the software and anybody who are interested or require more information can contact the secretariat at

Ongoing projects

Recently it was decided to investigate the status of the SASREG website, as well as our constitution. These projects will be managed by Mr. Gerhard Boshoff and Dr. Sagie Naidu, respectively, and anybody who wishes to send suggestions or offer assistance can do so via the secretariat at


On behalf of the Executive Committee and Board, we would like to thank our members for your continued membership and support. We welcome your suggestions and active participation.

We also wish to welcome all new members and encourage them to take an active part in the activities of the Society. We also wish all Reproductive Medicine Fellows and Embryology students well in their examinations. A great thank – you to the team at Turners Secretariat for their superb work and support of SASREG on a daily basis.

Kind Regards