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APRASSA Ombudsman

OMBUDSMAN SYSTEM

The Plastic Surgery Ombudsman system in South Africa was established over 20 years ago and consists of 4 regional Ombudsmen who report to the National Ombudsman, who, in turn, serves on, and reports to, the APRASSA Executive Committee.

If you are unhappy with an outcome following plastic surgery, we encourage you to contact the APRASSA obudsman.

The purpose of the Ombudsman process is to attempt to resolve disputes amicably, prior to initiation of any potential litigation, thus ensuring the best possible outcome. In the event of a patient complaining to the APRASSA about a member, they are asked to make an appointment to see their local ombudsman. Alternatively, surgeons themselves can ask patients to see the ombudsman.

The ombudsman will consult with the patient at no expense, and has the following restrictions put on him/her:

1) He / She may not take over the case, offer treatment or further surgery.

2) He / She may not give an opinion to the patient about the quality of care which they have received.

3) He / She may not testify in court on behalf of either the patient or the surgeon as an expert witness and the patient must agree to this prior to the consultation.

4) He / She must discuss the patient in detail with the primary surgeon upon completion of the consultation.

After reviewing the complaint and assessing the patient, the ombudsman may then suggest a course of action to be taken to correct the problem.

If the ombudsman finds one of the following:

  • the result is in fact optimal OR
  • the result cannot be helped by further surgery OR
  • the result needs time to settle

The ombudsman will explain and counsel the patient to that effect.

Where further action is required, the ombudsman may suggest a corrective course of action to be implemented by the primary treating surgeon.

In some instances where further surgery is required, the patient may have lost faith in the primary surgeon and in this case an alternative member surgeon can be requested to assist.

If at any stage, the patient decides to take legal action against the primary surgeon, the ombudsman’s role comes to an end and the ombudsman will cease to be involved.

APRASSA Disciplinary Process

The APRASSA disciplinary process is properly elucidated in the constitution, but in essence, if a particular member is repeatedly having cases which are reported to the ombudsman, or to the association or if the association becomes aware of repeated ethical or surgical problems or severe single problems, a peer review committee (consisting of senior EXCO members /members) will be established.

The cases are reviewed and discussed with the member in question and appropriate measures are then instituted. This may range from private censure to public censure (at the AGM) to expulsion from membership of the association.

DR CHRIS SNIJMAN

MBBCh (Wits) FCS (SA) Plast
National Ombudsman

Dr Chris Snijman is a qualified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in South Africa (the equivalent of Board Certification in the USA), and is a member of The Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of South Africa (APRASSA), the International Society of Aesthetic Surgeons (ISAPS), American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and the Rhinoplasty Society of South Africa (SORSSA).

Dr Snijman practises from Morningside Mediclinic in Sandton Johannesburg. As testimony to his commitment to the Discipline of Plastic Surgery, Dr Snijman has served on the Executive Committee of APRASSA for the past 12 years, was the President of APRASSA from 2016 – 2018 and holds the position of Chief Ombudsman Plastic Surgery South Africa. In addition, Chris represented Africa on the ICOPLAST Board (International Confederation of Plastic Surgeons), and currently is the South African representative on the Global ALCL Network as well as a Key Opinion Leader in Breast Surgery for Allergan International.

He also maintains Academic affiliations by hosting and mentoring other surgeons as well as by being a Peer Reviewer for the Aesthetic Surgery Journal as well as the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open Journal. These are international journals detailing the latest advances in surgical technique and clinical data.

DR SHANE BARKER

BSc.MB. ChB (UCT) FCS(SA) M.Med (Stell)

Dr Barker qualified as a medical doctor in 1985 at the University of Cape Town, and in 1995 qualified as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.

He commenced private practice at Constantiaberg Mediclinic, initially doing sessional work at Victoria Hospital, Wynberg. He continues to practice in the Constantia area from his own private Clinic.

His practice is mainly cosmetic surgery orientated although he has a special interest in breast reconstruction surgery.

He has been a member of APRASSA since qualifying and served on the Executive Committee. He served a term as President and has been a regional Ombudsman for APRASSA since 2012 and continues to serve in this role.

In addition to being an APRASSA member, Dr Barker is also a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) and is fully registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.

DR GREG ASH

MBBCh (Wits 1982); FCS (Plastic Surgery) (1991)

Dr Gregory John Ash is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in practice at Umhlanga Hospital with a part time post at the Nelson Mandela Medical School in Durban. He has a special interest in head and neck oncological surgery reconstruction.

Educated at St John’s College in Johannesburg, Dr Ash went on obtain his undergraduate education at the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School before specializing in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of the Witwatersrand teaching group of Hospitals.

Dr Ash was co - opted to serve on the executive committee of the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa (APRASSA) in 1997 and was then elected to the committee in 1998 and re-elected in 2000. He served as treasurer of APRASSA from 2000 to 2002 and secretary of APRASSA from 2002 to 2004. Dr Ash has been a regional Ombudsman for APRASSA since 2015 and continues to serve in this role.

WHEN YOU CHOOSE A DOCTOR WHO IS A MEMBER OF APRASSA, YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT YOUR SURGEON IS QUALIFIED IN ALL ASPECTS OF COSMETIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY.

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