Dr Grace Labadarios, COHSASA’s Standards Development Coordinator, who has been instrumental in developing the the GP standards for COHSASA

The development of an accreditation programme for General and Family practitioners is now well established and is ready to be piloted after wide consultation with appropriate GP groups including the South African Medical Association, various IPAs and the IPA Foundation, EMC, the SA Academy of Family Practice/Primary Care, the Board of Healthcare Funders, Discovery Health, Medihelp, Medscheme, Metropolitan Health and technical partner, COHSASA.

Two accreditation packages are offered – one for sophisticated practices that are almost ready for accreditation and one for practices that need to do a lot of quality improvement work before they become accredited. It is envisaged that these two packages will bring accreditation within the reach of all practices in South Africa, in preparation for the implementation of the NHI.
Contributions and reviews from patients regarding the scope of the standards will be sought during the pilot phase. Says Dr Grace Labadarios COHSASA’s Standards Development Coordinator and Research Assistant: “The pilots will provide a valuable opportunity to examine current levels of care and measure improvements brought about by implementing the standards. We also hope to collect data relating to the cost of implementing the standards, the time required for implementation and any resultant efficiency savings. In time, we will collect patient and staff satisfaction data alongside audit data.”
Roy Watson of SAMA Insider (August 2012 page 9), reporting on the joint paper delivered by COHSASA CEO, Prof Stuart Whittaker and COHSASA’s Dr Grace Labadarios  at the SAMA Annual conference at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg, says it was noted that, “The ultimate goal of the standards will be to provide a blueprint for quality general and family practice to ensure that these services and facilities meet internationally accepted best practice standards and South African clinical and legal requirements, are suited to the South African environmental setting and are applicable to various types of South African practices, that is single, group etc.”
Agreed content for the South African GP/FP accreditation standards include:
  • Agreed clinical processes
  • Patient and staff safety
  • Administrative and management structures
  • Staff support
  • Responsibility and accountability
  • Communication
  • Facilities and equipment