The SMLTSA is dedicated to the promotion of the aims and ideals of medical laboratory science, appropriate to the interests of the community it serves, within a comprehensive unitary health service.
It is committed to:
- The paramount goals of providing care and service to the patient, above all other considerations.
- The entrenchment of a professionally determined code of ethical conduct for all practitioners of medical technology.
- Maintaining and improving the standard of medical laboratory practice.
- Needs related research to ensure that medical laboratory practice will be dynamic, effective and relevant.
- Promoting the widest possible application and utilisation of medical laboratory technology in health matters affecting both persons and their environment, for the greatest benefit for all South Africans.
- Promoting continuing professional development.
- Implementation of, and assistance with, national accreditation systems for both personnel and laboratories.
- An active role in the selection, education and training of appropriate personnel.
- Liaison and communication with all groups concerned with, and responsible for, health care.
- Maintaining an organised, representative body and infrastructure capable of acting and negotiating on all matters related to medical technology, and on behalf of all medical technologists.
How does the SMLTSA function?
Council of the SMLTSA meets once every two years. Council members are elected and serve for a four-year period on Council. From its members it elects an Executive Committee, which conducts day-to-day affairs.
There are currently seven SMLTSA branches in South Africa and interested medical technologists can join any one of these branches.
Each branch elects its own committee, which communicates directly with the Executive Committee (EXCO) via the Administrative Office based in Cape Town. Branches are autonomous bodies acting within the SMLTSA Constitution. Any enquiries that the SMLTSA members may have can be channeled through local branch committees.
The SMLTSA is the official voice of Medical Technology in South Africa, ensuring that the viewpoint of medical technologists and the profession is adequately presented when policies are being shaped.
Members are self-employed or are employed in Government laboratories, Blood Transfusion Services, Medical Schools and private pathologists’ laboratories.
Perhaps the most important role of the society is that of acting as an advisory and consultant body in the fields of education, training and employment. Members of the SMLTSA represent the profession of Medical Technology at meetings of educational, certifying, registering and employing authorities.
Besides producing a scientific journal twice a year, the SMLTSA supports and sponsors a number of activities and special awards with the aim of promoting scientific knowledge and skills and encouraging original work by members. At regional, national and international level the SMLTSA organises congresses and trade exhibitions which provide access to the latest developments and trends in technology. At branch level, regular scientific and social functions are organised to enable members to meet and exchange views.
Fellowship of the SMLTSA is a recognized qualification, registerable with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). Fellowship is open to all Associate members and may be obtained by:
- examination by thesis, based on original work
- possession of equivalent qualifications assessed on individual merit
- Due to the efforts of the SMLTSA the profession has become united and has advanced to the point where medical technologists may enter private practice. In 1991 the ethical rules were amended enabling medical technologists to practice independently.
- Since the inception of the SMLTSA, negotiation has taken place to improve the salaries of medical technologists employed in government laboratories. In 1988 alone medical technologists’ salaries increased by more than 20%.
- The SMLTSA promoted the idea of a National Examination. Before the formation of the SMLTSA in 1951, medical technologists had no formal training other than laboratory experience.
- The SMLTSA formulates education policy and actively advises education bodies on improving the standard of education and training.
- The SMLTSA has played an important role in the development of qualifications, from a part-time diploma to the present three-year full-time diploma course.
- Regular inspections of laboratories are carried out by the Professional Board for Medical Technology to ensure the high standard of laboratory practice.
- Recognition at HPCSA level of medical technology as a profession has been achieved. Compulsory registration at the HPCSA makes us a recognized part of the professional medical team.
- CPD provides a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. The SMLTSA is active in assisting the HPCSA in devising a system of laboratory accreditation for South Africa.
- Recognition and accreditation of the Society’s journal (Medical Technology SA) has been confirmed for the purposes of subsidies.
- SMLTSA members receive the Medical Technology SA journal twice a year (June / December) as part of their subscription.