SAMA Annual Conference 2024

Sessions Overview

Each session is facilitated by experts from various fields, providing a platform for in-depth conversations on the topics mentioned above, with opportunities for questions and answers from the audience.


We will cover the critical topic of strengthening health policies. In this session, we will explore international trends, draw from global experiences, and uncover valuable lessons from around the world. Health policies play a pivotal role in shaping the quality, accessibility, and equity of healthcare systems.

International Health Policy Trends: Our first segment will examine the current and emerging trends in health policies across the globe. An expert in the field will discuss how countries are adapting to the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, addressing challenges, and seizing opportunities.

Drawing from International Experience: In this part of the session, we will hear from an expert who has firsthand experience with health policy implementation.

Lessons from Around the World: Lessons on best practices and innovative approaches will be distilled from international experiences.

Preservation of the Medical Profession – We are delighted to have SAMA’s response to this session to discuss our perspective on preserving the medical profession amidst evolving health policies.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Gain insights into the current health policy trends across the globe amidst the evolving landscape.
  • Get first-hand international experience on health policy implementation
  • Lessons around the world provide an opportunity to learn best practices that can be implemented in strengthening South Africa’s health system.
  • SAMA’s response to these challenges puts into perspective the health policy’s impact on the preservation of the medical profession.

Session 2 Overview: – REAL WORLD EVIDENCE

We will explore the critical topics of converting data into practice, assessing the effectiveness of health systems in the real world, and how those influence making outcomes-based decisions. These aspects are pivotal in ensuring that healthcare systems operate efficiently and effectively to improve patient care and population health. Let’s delve into each of these themes:

Converting Data into Practice: In today’s digital age, healthcare systems generate vast amounts of data. However, the true value lies in transforming this data into actionable insights that can drive improvements in patient care and health outcomes and how converting data into practice can bridge the gap between research and real-world applications.

Effectiveness of Health Systems in the Real World: Assessing Healthcare Systems means understanding the tools and methodologies used to evaluate the performance of health systems.

Outcomes-Based Decision Making: Discover the significance of patient outcomes as a key performance indicator for health systems and how policy and decision making ultimately drives positive change within healthcare.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Gain insights into leveraging data to enhance healthcare practice and decision-making.
  • Understand how to evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare systems in real-world scenarios.
  • Learn strategies for making outcomes-based decisions that lead to improved patient care and population health.


The Funding Healthcare Innovation session at the Strengthening Health Systems conference explores the critical role of funding in driving innovation in healthcare. This session brings together key stakeholders to share their unique perspectives on how funding impacts the development and implementation of innovative healthcare solutions.

Government Perspective: Governments play a pivotal role in funding healthcare innovation, as they allocate substantial resources to healthcare systems and as such the investment priorities have to be planned amidst the regulatory framework that ensures addressing the pressing needs of the South African healthcare sector.

Health Practitioners’ Perspective: Healthcare professionals are on the front lines of patient care and are directly impacted by healthcare innovation and thus this topic will cover quality patient outcomes challenged by a dwindling rand spend per patient population.

Patients’ Perspective: Patients are the ultimate beneficiaries of healthcare innovation. This perspective is essential in understanding the real-world impact of funding decisions in terms of the recipients of the healthcare and how we can strengthen this system for their benefit.

Why Attend this Session?

  • This session will reveal a multi-faceted view of how funding impacts healthcare innovation.
  • How government, health practitioners, funders and patients all play unique roles in shaping the future of healthcare.
  • This will assist in considering and balancing these perspectives on how to promote innovation while addressing the funding needs of the healthcare sector.


During this session we delve into the Impact of Infectious Diseases with a particular focus on South Africa, unpacking our Pandemic Preparedness, Policies, and chart the Way Forward. This session brings together experts, researchers, and policymakers to explore critical aspects of managing and mitigating the impact of communicable diseases in the region and globally.

Impact of Infectious Diseases in South Africa: Epidemiological Landscape review will provide an overview of the current epidemiological situation in South Africa, highlighting the most prevalent infectious diseases and their impact on public health.

Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic provide a critical examination of the response to the pandemic in South Africa and the lessons learned in terms of preparedness, surveillance, and response and strategies for enhancing healthcare infrastructure and capacity to better prepare for future pandemics.

Policies and Interventions: Policy Frameworks postulate for an exploration of policies and regulations aimed at addressing communicable diseases in South Africa; highlighting innovative approaches and interventions to combat infectious diseases and promote public health.

The Way Forward: Through examining strategies to ensure equitable access to healthcare services and vaccines.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Be involved in finding solutions that enable health systems to be strengthened post the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Everyday preparedness for medical professionals in the face of Communicable diseases.

Parallel Session 5a Overview: HEALTH TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

The Health Technology Innovation session explores the intersection of healthcare and technology, focusing on how big data, telehealth, electronic records, and technology utilisation in Africa are transforming healthcare delivery. This session also includes insights where SAMA sheds the light on the perspectives of medical professionals.

How Big Data Affects Healthcare: Big data has revolutionised healthcare by providing valuable insights and improving decision-making. In this session, an expert will delve into the ways big data is transforming the healthcare landscape.

Telehealth and Electronic Records: Telehealth and electronic health records (EHRs) have become vital components of modern healthcare systems including EHR Implementation. This session will examine their impact.

Electronic Clinic Records and Tech in Africa: Africa is experiencing a rapid evolution in healthcare technology adoption. This part of the session will highlight developments specific to the African context that seek find solutions to overcome infrastructure challenges whilst providing data-driven decision making for quality health outcomes.

A SAMA panel member will provide a perspective on these topics on the challenges and opportunities that can only be solved through collaboration and advocacy.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will gain valuable knowledge on the impact of big data, telehealth, electronic records, and the unique challenges and opportunities faced in African healthcare.
  • Additionally, the perspective from SAMA will provide valuable insights into the experiences of medical professionals in the region.


This is a platform for registrars and other researchers to showcase their work in the general field of medicine. It is an opportunity to interact with colleagues, to network with interested parties, possibly even forge future collaborations and to refine your future research activity.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will engage with the latest research in the field of medicine.
  • An opportunity to engage with registrars and researchers to collaborate, network and seek synergies.


The Ethics and Advocacy: This session explores the crucial aspects of ethical governance in the context of global health. With a particular focus on South Africa, this session delves into the intricate interplay between ethics, governance, and advocacy in the realm of healthcare. Expert speakers will shed light on the ethical challenges faced by health systems worldwide and share insights on effective advocacy strategies. Additionally, a respondent will provide valuable perspectives on the topics discussed during the session.

Ethical Governance & Global Health: This topic will kick off the session by providing an overview of the ethical considerations that underpin effective governance in the realm of global health.

Ethical Governance in South Africa: A leading authority on healthcare ethics in South Africa, will delve into the unique ethical challenges faced by the country’s health system.

Advocacy for Ethical Health Systems: This topic will discuss the role of advocacy in promoting ethical health systems.

Respondent’s Perspective: A seasoned healthcare policy analyst and advocate, will provide a respondent’s perspective on the topics discussed during the session.

This will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience, encouraging further discussion and exploration of the session’s themes.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will engage in a meaningful dialogue on the crucial intersection of ethics, governance, and advocacy in strengthening health systems worldwide.
  • This session will provide an enlightening discussion as we navigate the complex terrain of ethical governance and advocacy in global health, with a special focus on South Africa’s unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Delegates’ contribution will assist towards building more ethical and equitable health systems for all.


Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are local and global health challenges. In this session, we will delve into various aspects of NCDs, including their epidemiology, the impact they are having on global health, metabolic diseases with a focus on lifestyle factors, policies and guidelines to combat NCDs, and the way forward in strengthening health systems to address this growing health challenge.

Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases: Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, including risk factors and how vulnerable groups affect the epidemiological landscape of NCDs.

Metabolic Disease and Lifestyle: Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, are strongly linked to lifestyle choices. Lifestyle factors and behavioural interventions play a pivotal role in the development and management of metabolic diseases:

Policies and Guidelines and Way Forward: To combat the rising tide of NCDs, effective policies and guidelines are crucial and medical professionals are central towards assisting patients and key stakeholders. Strengthening Health Systems means that addressing NCDs requires a multi-faceted approach:

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will understand the epidemiology, addressing lifestyle factors, and suggest policies to be implemented.
  • Recognise the ongoing battle against non-communicable diseases and the assistance that is available.


In this informative and thought-provoking session, we will explore the multifaceted aspects of mental health resilience, with a particular focus on how different life stages impact mental health, the concept of resilience as a medical professional, and a panel discussion featuring experts in the field. Our goal is to shed light on the importance of mental health resilience in today’s world and to provide valuable insights and strategies for healthcare professionals.

Life Stage Impact on Mental Health: Understanding life stages of medical professionals and the impact of mental health focused particularly on mental health burnout.

Resilience as a Medical Profession: The topic will discuss the roles and responsibilities of medical professionals and the impact of resilience-focused interventions on both patients and healthcare systems.

Panel Discussion: In this engaging panel discussion, an expert will guide the discussion on real-world challenges and innovative solutions related to mental health resilience.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will gain a deeper understanding of how different life stages impact mental health burnout.
  • Experts engagement with experts on the pressing issues in the field of mental health resilience.

Parallel Session 8b – RETIREMENT PLANNING

This is a comprehensive session on Retirement Planning specifically tailored for healthcare professionals like you. In a field as demanding as healthcare, planning for your future retirement is crucial to ensure financial stability and peace of mind.

Session Overview

Retirement: Your Path to Financial Well-being: In this session, we will delve into the various aspects of retirement planning, highlighting its importance, and providing you with essential insights to secure your financial future.

Why Attend this Session?

  • This session is open to all healthcare professionals, whether you’re just starting your career or nearing retirement, the information presented will be invaluable in helping you secure your financial future.
  • It’s never too early to start. Join us for this enlightening session and take the first steps towards a worry-free retirement.


This final session delves into the sensitive topic of the criminalisation of the medical profession and explores alternative approaches to resolve disputes while ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.

Doctor as the Victim: Understanding the legal challenges and consequences faced by healthcare professionals. Alternative Dispute Resolution methods are explored, highlighting the benefits of mediation in medical disputes.

Why Attend this Session?

  • Delegates will learn constructive and alternative dispute resolution methods and the processes to influence the current systems.
  • The session will contribute to the development of a healthcare system that prioritises patient well-being while protecting the rights and professional integrity of medical doctors.

Join us at the Strengthening Health Systems conference to explore these critical topics and engage in meaningful discussions with leaders in the field of healthcare. Together, we can drive positive change and improve health systems for the benefit of all. We look forward to your participation!