Annual Meeting International Guests of Honor Series: Ear, Nose and Throat Society of South Africa
As President of the AAO-HNS/F, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome the delegation from the Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Society of South Africa to the AAO-HNSF 2018 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in Atlanta, GA, in October.
This meeting will be particularly meaningful for me as I was born, raised, and educated (through medical school) in South Africa, and I share a definite sense of nostalgia and pride in welcoming the South African delegation to Atlanta.
Prior to 1966, the ENT surgeons in South Africa had a governing body looking after their interest that fell under the Medical Association of South Africa. The majority of ENT surgeons practiced in three of the four provinces. The leaders in those provinces decided to form an independent ENT society. This came into being in 1966 and was called “The Society of Otorhinolaryngology.” This Society was tasked to govern and look after the interest of ENTs in both private practice and academic units. In 2006, the name was changed to the Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Society of South Africa with the adoption of a new constitution.
There are 209 current members in private practice and 69 members in training units in the now 11 provinces. The Society rotates congresses organized between these academic units with the venue rotating between Johannesburg and the main coastal regions. The format consists of two international guests of stature invited and sponsored with other guests invited and attending with sponsorship from their own entities or certain companies.
The business side is managed by the ENT Manco Society, to which all members belong. This division looks after coding and practice management queries. Most of the Society members are in private practice with their fees being used to run the Society but also to plough money back into the academic departments that are struggling for funding from the South African government’s Department of Health.
The Society also runs a continual education program with the organization of journal clubs, which are held monthly in the different regions. These meetings are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies, and the journals are accessed via the “Journal Room” on the Society website. This “Journal Room” became a necessity due to the lack of access to journals by the members working in rural areas, and it is a great success.