We are entering the final month of the year 2021, and we are slowly winding down the activities of the DPA and preparing for the years ahead. The year was full of challenges especially due to the COVID 19 pandemic which affected many of us in various ways. We lost several colleagues due to the illness and other lost family members. Our deepest condolences to the families that lost their loved once.
We also experienced an unprecedented level of looting and vandalism which affected mainly the businesses in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. Many dental practices were looted, vandalized, and gutted, and many of our colleagues suffered as a result. We hope that they will recover speedily from the losses. We are grateful for the assistance that was received in aid of the affected colleagues. An amount of almost 40K was raised and it will be distributed equally amongst the affected colleagues before we close for the December recess.
We have experienced a good increase in the registered membership of the DPA. This is due to the visible communication strategies, especially via social media, workshops that were held in different centres around the country, monthly payments via debit order, and all the incentives that go along with the membership of the DPA.
We have a good understanding of the needs of the broader DPA membership, and we will continue to improve on what has so far been on offer. In addition, we will have to find ways of implementing other strategies that were canned due to the difficulties that were brought about by the pandemic.
Given the increasing cost of doing business and the expansion of activities of the DPA, the Exco has decided to increase the membership fee by 7,7% or R300-00. The membership fee for 2022 will thus cost R4200-00, and it can be paid either in full or via monthly debit order payments of R350-00. This is the first increase in three years, and we hope that it will be accepted by the members. More information on the registration process will be forthcoming.
Supervised Clinical Practice
The DPA has been approached by School of Oral Health Science at the Sefako Makgatho University (SMU) to assist with the orderly implementation of the supervised clinical practice for the soon-to-be-qualified dental therapists and oral hygienists. This is an important step in further training and integration of these young professionals into the profession. It is a prerequisite for the eventual registration by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for independent practice.
We are engaged in negotiations with SMU that will result in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will facilitate the process of supervised clinical practice, and more information will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, we are requesting colleagues to complete a survey that will assist in collecting the data that will inform the structure of the programme. You are kindly requested to complete the questionnaire by following the link below:
Our annual conference was an astounding success, and we are grateful to all the delegates, presenters, and sponsors who all contributed to the success. Most satisfying is the depth and the experience that has been gained over the last few years that bodes well for the future events.
We are kindly requesting the delegates to the conference to complete the survey below that will help us to assess the conference objectively, and make improvements for the future.
Annual General Meeting
The Exco regrets to announce that it will not be feasible to hold the Annual General Meeting in this calendar year. This is due to the difficulties that were encountered with the accountants. We have as a result not been able to finalise the annual financial statements which are necessary for purposes of the AGM.
Exco has appointed a new firm of accountants who will continue with the compilation of the annual financial reports. We are planning to hold the AGM in January 2022. On behalf of Exco, I wish to apologise to the members for this lapse in the governance processes and we will do everything to rectify the situation and to prevent future occurrence.
The DPA will be going into the December recess starting on 15 December 2021 until 10 January 2022.
Dr Thabo Twala
Chairperson: Dental Professionals Association (DPA)