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Why Join ASSA?


The Association of Surgeons of South Africa (ASSA) was founded in 1943 as a non-profit organization and is the body that represents General Surgeons in South Africa. Other specific surgical interest groups such as SASES, VASSA, TSSA and the CSSA are members of the ASSA executive committee and represented by ASSA on the South African Medical Association (SAMA) boards.


ASSA membership has, amongst others, the benefit of a reduced rate of registration for the Biennial ASSA congress, and as of 2013 free and full online access the British Journal of Surgery and Annals of Surgery

Our members represent the majority of General Surgeons in South Africa. ASSA aims to act constructively to address relevant issues. The better represented ASSA is by its membership the stronger its voice becomes.

ASSA has been active on many fronts and its focus has varied over the years as a body representing all general surgeons. ASSA provides a unified voice which addresses societal issues related to surgery, has a proactive involvement in respect of the national agenda regarding healthcare and serves as a national forum for the profession to reinforce the values and ethics which behoves all surgeons

One example is the practice cost study which has been an ASSA initiative and is an ongoing project to ensure adequate compensation for professional services that are rendered by General Surgeons.

Education and Training

ASSA has been focused on ensuring the viability of General Surgery as a discipline.
It is a worldwide debate as to how to recruit the brightest and best candidates into General Surgery. ASSA and the EXCO, which includes all the Heads of Academic Departments as co-opted members, contribute significantly by supporting juniors for research, travel and career advancement.

Fellowships and awards are organized and part funded by ASSA. These include:

  • Distinguished Service Award
  • ASSA - Discovery Clinical Excellence Award
  • ASSA Young Surgeons Sponsorship

Related sub-specialties (e.g. Paediatric, GIT, Vascular, and Trauma) are now recognized by the HPCSA. ASSA has submitted motivations in support and recognition of these sub-specialties

Registrars have a representative on the EXCO and all members of the South African Society for Surgeons in Training (SASSiT) are affiliate members and receive the SAJS.

ASSA organises a Biennial conference which is aimed at General Surgeons. It provides a forum for knowledge as well as and an opportunity to interact with both local and international delegates. ASSA members get a discounted rate for registration for these conferences. Any registrars that have a scientific presentation are sponsored if they are members of SASSiT.

Relationship with Local and International Societies

The Federation of South African Surgeons (FoSAS) is the umbrella body established to address issues which are common to surgical societies and organisations in South Africa. FoSAS encompasses the following societies: ASSA, College of Surgeons, SAAPS, SACRS, SASES, SASSiT, SRSSA, Surgicom, TSSA and VASSA, allowing autonomy within an umbrella group.

We feel that we should be proactive in our involvement with the Government. As Surgeons and doctors we have a unique insight into the problems and needs of our country and constitute a significant voice.

ASSA has friends and contacts around the world and is now a DESIGNATED SOCIETY of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI).

ASSA is also forging links with other African as well as international Surgical Societies and has established good working relationships with WACS, PAAS and COSECSA.


ASSA has a peer reviewed Journal, the SAJS, which is distributed to all members and is cited by Index Medicus.

As of 2013 all members will have online access to the British Journal of Surgery and Annals of Surgery

Academic Collaboration

All academic surgical departments have representatives in ASSA EXCO and this allows discussions regarding academic training and examinations to take place. Senior ASSA members are represented on the College of Surgeons Board as well as on the Board of the CMSA and SAMA.

All General Surgeons should be members of ASSA to allow us to speak with a unified voice, represent the profession and to drive progress for the profession.

We rely on the yearly subscriptions from members to pay for running expenses of the society. No member of the ASSA executive is remunerated for the work that he/she does for the association. Monies generated from conferences are used to ensure long term financial viability as well as to fund endeavours such as fellowships and sponsorships.

Contact ASSA

You can contact ASSA through our contact page.