Making health care safer and better...
The COHSASA Technical Committee, consisting of clinical consultants who are highly experienced in their various fields, meets four times a year to evaluate the external survey results of healthcare facilities participating in the accreditation programme.
The Technical Committee membership reflects various healthcare disciplines, fields of interest, professional bodies, private sector concerns and/or government organisations.
The results evaluated by the Technical Committee are contained in an Accreditation Report. The terms of reference of the Technical Committee are to investigate and approve accreditation reports and inform the COHSASA Board of decisions taken.
It is the role and function of this Committee to make decisions as to whether the facilities will or will not receive accreditation awards, basing these decisions on standard compliance data delivered by the web-based COHSASA quality information system (CoQIS) and corroborated by the input of External Surveyors.
No accreditation is granted unless the healthcare facility achieves the following:
- all services and departments score at least 80/100;
- there should be no remaining non-compliant criteria that can result in serious harm or injury to patients or staff; that contravene critical laws and regulations;
- No serious administration, organisational and/or managerial problems.
For a full explanation of accreditation criteria, see more at:
Professor Stuart Whittaker – Chairperson
Professor Stuart Whittaker (MBChB, FFCH [CM], MMed, MD, founder and Chief Executive Officer of COHSASA), is a medical doctor who has specialised in Public Health Medicine. He also has a doctorate in the field of Quality Assurance and Epidemiology. He is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of healthcare quality improvement. In South Africa, he has been recognised as one of the top 25 influential leaders in the health field and in 2008 received a South African Medical Association Award (SAMA) for Extraordinary Services to Medicine. He is an Extraordinary Professor in the School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria.
Professor Whittaker is consulted in both South Africa and around the world for his professional knowledge and expertise in the field of health quality improvement and accreditation in health care. He has made substantial contributions to several global organisations concerned with improving the safety and quality of patient care and is currently a member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care ( IsQua) Accreditation Council and Federation. This is a sub-committee of the ISQua Board that supports the International Accreditation Programme (IAP).
He serves on the Standards Subcommittee of Joint Commission International’s (JCI) Accreditation Committee in the United States and has frequently been appointed as a temporary consultant to the World Health Organisation in the fields of patient safety and quality improvement and accreditation. In South Africa he has been appointed to numerous task forces and working committees to assist in the development of a number of South Africa’s quality assurance initiatives.
Professor Gert van Zyl
Professor Gert van Zyl currently holds the position of the Dean in the Health Sciences Faculty at the University of the Free State. Starting as a Medical Officer at Welkom Hospital in 1987, he worked his way up the ranks in the Free State public health sector and gained invaluable hands-on clinical and managerial experience as the Senior Medical Superintendent in the Welkom region of the Free State; as Senior Medical Superintendent at Goldfields Regional Hospital and as CEO of the academic, tertiary Universitas Hospital. He then moved to the Free State Department of Health head office where he was promoted from Director and CEO of Academic Health Services to Chief Director and CEO of Academic Health Services and later Executive Manager: Clinical Services. In 2001 he moved into the academic world and again received promotion to secure the position as Head of the School of Medicine at the University of the Free State (UFS) until his appointment as Dean in 2010.
Professor van Zyl graduated from the University of the Orange Free State (UOFS) in 1985 with an MBChB and a Masters in Family Medicine from the same university in 1992. These degrees were followed closely by Diplomas in Health Administration (1995) and Community Health (1995), also from the UOFS. In 2000, Professor van Zyl received his MBA from Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) and in 2004 he completed his PhD, A Management Model for Heads of Department in the Medical School in the Health Professions Education Programme (HPE) at the University of the Free State in 2004.
Mrs Sharon Slabbert
Sharon Slabbert has been involved in every aspect of hospital management for more than 30 years and has served as Chairman of the Health and Welfare Sector Educational Training Authority (HWSETA), as a Director of COHSASA as well as Executive Officer and Company Secretary of the Hospital Association of South Africa. She is involved in many committees related to quality and has been involved in the working group developing National Quality Standards at the Office of Standards Compliance for the National Department of Health as well as accreditation of government hospitals and the inspection of private hospitals for the allocation of practice code numbers. She is a passionate patient advocate and remains a nurse at heart. She has written numerous articles and presented at many conferences and workshops.
Dr Hélène Visser
Dr Hélène Visser obtained her MBChB degree from the University of Pretoria and post graduate qualifications in Public Health, Occupational Health and Management from the University of Stellenbosch. She has 30 years of experience in the field of Primary Health Care, initially working on the clinical side and later moving to the managerial side. Presently as the Manager: Specialised Health for City of Cape Town, she manages a diverse portfolio including HIV/STI/TB, Health Information and Technology, Health Promotion, Training, Pharmaceuticals, X-ray Services, Nutrition, Food Control, Water Control and Air Quality Management. Since 2000 she has been made responsible for the management of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Programme for the City Health Clinics and Environmental Health Offices.
Professor Tobias Rinke de Wit
Professor Dion du Plessis
Professor Dion J du Plessis received his MBChB in 1966 and his MMed (Chir) with distinction and FCS (Uro) in 1972. He received an honorary MD (h.c) from the University of Pretoria in 2002. He was head of the Department of Urology for 25 years and then became Dean of the Faculty of Health Science of the University of Pretoria for eight years. He left the Academic environment and became Group Medical Director for Netcare. During this period he implemented Clinical Governance in Netcare. He is now retired but serves on several boards and consults in the medical industry.
Professor Anthony Linegar
Professor Linegar graduated with an MBChB from Stellenbosch University in 1984. Two years later he did a Diploma in Diving and Submarine Medicine. His other professional qualifications include FCS (Cardiothoracic Surgery) SA, UCT 1992; Fellowship in thoracic surgery Royal Brompton Hospital 1993 and a PHD from the University of the Free State in 2008 entitled: A Model for the Development of Thoracic Surgery in Central SA. Professor Linegar has written 35 publications and book chapters on various aspects of thoracic surgery.
His current involvements include the following: Associate Professor Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Free State; Private Thoracic Surgical and Intensive Care Practice in Cape Town; Secretary of College of Medicine (Cardiothoracic Surgery); Treasurer Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons SA; Regent Southern African region of the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer); Leader Thoracic Surgical Working Group Committee of PASCATS (Pan African Society Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery); Co-Director Critical Care Unit N1 City Hospital, Cape Town; Co-Director and Trustee of the SA Mesothelioma Interest Group; Examiner in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Critical Care and Research Consultant (accreditation and patient safety)at COHSASA.
Professor Alan Pontin
Professor Alan Pontin obtained his MBChB from Birmingham University in1968. He left the UK for Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo in 1969. During his four years there in the Department of Surgery he passed his primary surgical fellowship examination and final surgical fellowship of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. In 1974 he left Mpilo to take up a registrar post at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. In 1976 he passed the College of Medicine examination and was appointed as consultant urologist and renal transplant surgeon in 1978. He was head of the Department of Urology from 2004 to 2009.
During this time he published several scientific articles, read papers at local and international congresses, was an examiner for the College of Medicine for intermediate and final parts of the FCS examination, and was a regular convener of the final fellowship examinations. He is a member of the South African Urological Association and the Southern African Transplantation Society. He was previously a member or the American Urological Association and the International Society of Urology. He currently works in the Department of Urology at Groote Schuur Hospital as a senior specialist in the Department of Education of UCT.
Mr John Lawton
John Lawton was the Operational Business Analyst for Mediclinic Southern Africa. He was with this large private hospital group since 1989 and was previously the Hospital Manager of Mediclinic Vereeniging for 17 years, where much insight and experience of a broad spectrum of clinical issues was gained. Mr Lawton managed various operational projects for Mediclinic Southern Africa, including the COHSASA accreditation project in 36 of its hospitals. Part of this task was to develop objectives in collaboration with the Mediclinic directorate and establish results to be accomplished. Since 1986 he has been registered as an Associate Personnel Practitioner with the South African Board for Personnel Practice and is a 1994 graduate of the Southern Life Leadership Forum.
Dr Grace Labadarios
Dr Grace Labadarios graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 1992, completed her General Practitioner training in the UK in 1999 and was working as a GP in the UK until her return to South Africa in 2011. She received a Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DRCOG) in 1996, a Certificate of the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice (JCPTGP) in 1999 and she became a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) in March 2010. She has been appointed as the Co-ordinator of the General and Family Practitioner Accreditation Programme being developed by COHSASA and begins a MMed in Public Health at UCT from Jan 2012.