The International Anti-corruption Day marked on 9 December gave SAMED the occasion to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to standing up to corruption, poor governance and unethical marketing and business practices. None of these does anything good for patients, the health system or South Africa. We pay tribute to Babita Deokaran who gave her life to fighting the good cause. As new information comes to light about the alleged mismanagement of procurement within the public sector, it is obvious that both the public and private sectors have to act if we are to honour the legacy of Ms Deokaran and root out corruption in all its various shapes and sizes.
SAMED will continue to enforce and strengthen the Medical Device Code. Certification process and signing of the Code declaration by compliance officers are requirements of SAMED membership, with earnest plans afoot to make the Code applicable to all suppliers of medtech and medical devices. This year, we have had active engagements with professional societies to enlist their assistance in making healthcare professionals aware of the Code and applaud the many HCPs who have acquired Code certification themselves.
The Code is the basis for the 24/7 anonymous Medical Device Code Hotline. Recent new complaints received are being investigated by the independent chairperson.
The Compliance Officers’ Toolkit is another valuable and practical resource that supports compliance officers in their quest to train staff and relevant suppliers of their companies to follow best ethical practices. The toolkit includes advisory opinions as guidance they can easily apply in the course of their work.
By raising awareness of strong governance and healthy working practices and using available means to clamp down when such are not happening, we contribute to a healthier, more prosperous South Africa – something that no doubt we all yearn for.