Newsletter: October 2017
It is with great pleasure that we are sending out this news update regarding the activities of SASREG over the past six months. It has been a busy term for the current Committee and we would like to thank everyone involved in the activities of SASREG for their dedication and input into our Society. Numerous emails and telephone calls have been welcomed and the input from every member has helped us making SASREG the Society it has become. Better interaction between embryologists and clinicians within SASREG has been a priority and we welcome their invaluable contribution.
Website and Social Media
Our website has undergone a major revamp under the leadership of Yossi Unterslak. The web address has been changed to www.sasreg.co.za and the old site will redirect to the new one for now. This site is a huge improvement on the old site. It is easy to navigate, it is responsive and it has a fresh look to it. It is still under construction and Yossi welcomes any suggestions. The subcommittee on Guidelines and Training under the leadership of Pieter Kruger and Chris Venter will also update guidelines regarding good clinical practice and Society statements such as uterine morcellation. We have created a new Facebook page which has been shared with all the accredited fertility units. We also have a Twitter profile, which we will start to use at a later stage.
SASREG is in the process of designing new consent forms for medical procedures. In a first step, we are making consent forms for assisted reproduction which will cover every aspect of modern reproductive practice. This is being done with the help of an attorney specializing in fertility law. Once this is finished we plan to proceed with consent forms for laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. All accredited Clinics and registered members will be able to request these documents from our secretariat as a member benefit.
The South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) has published Issue Paper 32 on the Right to Know One’s Own Biological Origins. This is in contrast to the current South African Law, which states that gamete donation is anonymous. SASREG has under the leadership of Paul le Roux and Chris Venter given extensive and well-researched comments on this. The position of SASREG is to allow both anonymous and known donation and not to replace one mandatory system with another mandatory system. We are awaiting the outcome of the nationwide public hearings and will keep you informed about the Commission’s’ recommendations. This, of course, may significantly impact the gamete donor availability in future and SASREG will on an ongoing basis give our input to ensure the best interest of both donors and recipients.
Department of Health
The DOH has published new regulations for comment on the use of Gamete banks. These are separate resolutions to the Chapter 8 regulations, which are also being revised at present. These upcoming regulations state that only a Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine can perform Assisted Reproduction in any form. Egg donation will be limited to six donations and sperm donation to 12 live births. This will have a significant impact on several practitioners interested in the field of Reproductive Medicine who do not have the registration of subspecialist.
The law requires that the Department of Health establish a central register for gamete donation. This has not been done and is a major concern. SASREG is currently investigating the possibility of organizing this ourselves. Chris Venter has been investigating international trends and we will soon meet with European colleagues in order to set up this registry. This will enable effective monitoring donation outcome and also limit unnecessary duplication of information between clinics making use of the same donor. Both Clinics, Donor Agencies and Gamete banks will actively be involved in this process and we see this as a big step forward.
We are currently finalizing the process for accreditation of Endoscopic surgeons in gynaecological surgery. This has been a daunting task and we would like to thank and congratulate Igno Siebert, Abri de Bruin and Viju Thomas on the significant progress made over the past six months.
In the current milieu of medico-legal awareness, we as SASREG strongly support international trends of accreditation for endoscopy. Following the successful implementation of the Better Obs program by SASOG in the obstetrics arena, we are now implementing an accreditation process for postgraduate Gynaecologists who wants to be recognized as experts by peer review. Proctors nominated by SASREG with approval from SASOG will then evaluate candidates according to set criteria for levels of competency. The WINNERS program will continue to form part of both undergraduate and postgraduate training with suggested inclusion in the curriculum by the College. This is still under discussion. A list of successful candidates is also accompanying this newsletter. Well done to everyone!
SASREG has been invited to participate in the SASOG 2018 Durban congress (www.sasog2018.co.za) in a parallel session on reproductive medicine and the panel of speakers invited will make sure this will be a meeting to attend! SASREG’s AGM will also be during this Congress and we will close to the time invite all members to attend.
We are excited to announce that SASREG will host the 2019 International Society for Gynaecologic Endoscopy (ISGE) / European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (ESGE) Conference in Cape Town during 15-17th April 2019. Please diarize as this event should not be missed!
Fertility Clinics Accreditation
In the past week, a memo was sent to all SASOG and SASREG members regarding accreditation of clinics. This is a process which is performed by SASREG under the instruction of the DOH to ensure that patients are receiving care of the highest quality in safe environments and that all the requirements of the law are met.
This inspection of clinics is done every three years and is done by a clinician and an embryologist. The majority of currently accredited clinics requested re-accreditation and will be visited during November. All new clinics or clinics not previously accredited are invited to request an inspection. The cost of travel and accommodation, as well as administrative tasks of issuing the certificates, necessitated a registration fee which will be for a period of three years.
Silke Dyer and her team published the SARA 2014 report and it is something we are extremely proud of! From now on, it will be a requirement to participate in data collection for SARA in order to get SASREG accreditation.
On behalf of Silke, we would like to thank everyone for participating in this project and supplying the data of your clinics. Without your continued support, this would not be possible. Also, please do visit the website of ANARA (African Network and Registry of Assisted Reproductive Technology) www.Anara-africa.com to see what is happening on our subcontinent!
You the Member
On behalf of our team at SASREG, we would like to thank you as members for your membership, your continued support of our activities and daily interaction with members of the Committee.
We welcome your suggestions and active participation and we are repeating our previous invitation to you as a member to get involved in the subcommittees of SASREG.
We are working hard to get our own Journal and are constantly trying to add benefits to your valued membership.
We also thank Virosha Basdeo and her team at Turners Secretariat for their superb work and support of SASREG on a daily basis.