The objectives of of of SAMLA include, amongst others:
Within the fields of medicine and law, mediation is one alternate resolution mechanism through which disputes related to medical practice may be achieved. Mediation is “a structured, voluntary, non-binding, without prejudice and confidential process, commencing after an agreement to mediate has been signed, and in which participants with settlement authority, assisted by a neutral person (the mediator), self-determine a negotiated outcome” (University of Cape Town Faculty of Law, 2016). SAMLA recognises mediation as an increasingly important dispute resolution mechanism in the South African medico-legal context. For parties, it is often a more flexible, less costly and quicker process than the formal legal process and allows for a range of possible solutions. In mediation, the parties are empowered to express, on an equal footing and mutually respectful environment, their experience of a particular health event which has caused harm.
SAMLA does not provide training in mediation, but is currently running two pilot projects to assess the efficacy of mediation in the medico-legal sphere and to assess the validity of the guidelines for medico-legal mediation that SAMLA has developed. Through their involvement in these pilot projects, trained mediators have had the opportunity hone their skills in medico-legal mediation and to contribute to the evaluation of the projects..
SAMLA makies available to disputing parties the names of mediators who have met accreditation requirements.