Morgan Chetty 2019


Prof Mohambry (Morgan) N Chetty has been at the helm of Family Medicine for about 40 years. He has dedicated his life to promoting access to quality healthcare, with a focus on the poor, and being patient-centered.

He obtained his MBChB from the University of Natal and has completed numerous other medical qualifications from both South African and American institutions. Healthcare in the private sector was in chaos. It was divided on ethic lines, a huge public/private divide, poorly coordinated and very system-centric, health professional and hospi-centric focused.

In 1998, he single-handedly raised funds and gathered doctors together to start the first truly democratic doctor organisation, The South African Managed Care organisation. He was elected as the Vice-Chairperson and he still holds that position today. The ethos was to bring doctors together to be cost-efficient, to be custodians of our scarce resources and to deliver holistic quality care. He was also instrumental in the erection of one of the first Black owned hospitals post-apartheid in Durban, Mount Edgecombe Hospital.

There was a need to bring together ethically divided healthcare practitioners in South Africa and once again, Prof Chetty led the team to establish an umbrella organisation, the Independent Practitioners Association of South Africa. This was the turning point as the country saw doctors unite for the common purpose of “caring” for patients, managing scarce resources and striving for quality outcomes. Prof Chetty is the Chairman of the IPA Foundation of SA (Independent Practitioners Association) and is also the Chairman of the regional IPA – The KZN Doctors Healthcare Coalition.

He was awarded the Faculty of Family Practitioners Fellowship for his outstanding work amongst Family Practitioners by the College of Medicine in SA and won a Fullbright Humphrey Fellowship to the USA in 1993 where he obtained a Master’s in Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Prof Chetty has written over 80 articles and columns on healthcare for various national and international medical journals and publications. He is also regularly involved in radio and TV interviews and is often quoted in the press. Prof Chetty is the author of two books on “Managed Health Care”.

He has organised the Africa Healthcare Congress in SA for the past six years and most recently, was involved in the organising of the Africa Health Business Symposium, bringing together high-ranking health officials from Africa and abroad to debate the issue of universal healthcare in Africa.

In 2018, he was appointed by the Minster of Health to the NHI (National Health Insurance) GP Contracting Committee and also onto the Board of the “Office of Health Standards Compliance” (OHSC). This body will accredit all facilities, providers and other health establishments to work for the NHI Programme.

Prof Chetty is a member of the International Academy of Quality and Safety (IAQS) and on the Patient-Centered Committee to drive the paramount role of the patient in healthcare decisions - membership of the Academy is one of the highest honours that an Individual working in the area of Quality and Safety can achieve. In addition, he was also appointed as an ISQua (The International Society for Quality in Health Care) Expert Member.

He was recently awarded the Discovery Health Lifetime Achievement Award for work in the quality of healthcare, Lifetime Membership to the International Academy of Quality and Safety (IAQS) and received the Dr Humphrey Zokufa, Titanium Lifetime Achievement Award (BHF) – for Significant Contribution to the Healthcare Industry over time.

For his contribution in upskilling doctors in South Africa, leading 5000 primary care doctors and the empowerment of patients on patient rights, it is an honour for Nelson Mandela University to confer the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) on Professor Morgan Chetty.