SASOP BACKGROUND AND BENEFITS 1. Introduction
Probably since its inception in 1952, South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) as an organisation has been plagued by the single-most asked question by non-members which is “why should I join?”- often loosely translated as “so what do you do for me?”.
Having a clearly-defined answer to this question, which in reality should be the “elevator speech” of every SASOP member who truly understands why he or she is a member, will provide not only a means of improving membership figures, but will also serve to sharpen the focus of the organisation. 2. Benefits of being a SASOP member
“Being a member of SASOP means that:
a. You and what you do are respected (based on work done, by SASOP, to ensure that psychiatry is recognised for the role it plays in securing patient rights, delivery of service to State patients and those who choose to see private psychiatrists; that as a discipline psychiatry deserves its own place in the training curriculum at universities; that psychiatry, and hence psychiatrists, is an integral part of any program seeking to secure good health for the citizens of this country (“no health without mental health”); that there is a body that can be consulted for peer review).
b. You and your rights as a Psychiatrist are protected (on-going work with funding industry (private), SAMA, the National DOH and other stakeholders).
c. You are fairly compensated for what you do (based on work done in the past and on-going work done in the background for private psychiatrist and in the State with respect to input given in the OSD matter).
d. You are considered relevant (enough for psychiatrists to now be consulted first before decisions are made with respect to matters of compensation (private practice), policy and planning (State practice)).
e. You are seen to be honourable, ethical and a “safe bet” (by virtue of the work done by SASOP to do peer review, offer opinion on accepted practice, and in the same way that tradesmen are seen to be a “safe bet” if they belong to a national governing body, able to exert influence on the way they provide their services)
f. All of the above mean that what you do, how you do it and how you are considered (by the public) remain sustainable and enduring.