Dear SAMA members

As per our SAMA processes, we make an effort to give input to the National Standard Treatment Guidelines and to encourage our members to participate in the commentary processes.

In December 2020, the National Department has issued amendments to the Primary care and Hospital care Guidelines and Essential medicines List to formally include COVID-19 in the Infections Chapters and to include specific recommendations for COVID-19 in pregnancy in the the obstetrics chapter.

Comments are due to the Department of Health by 15 February 2020.

SAMA is inviting comments from the broader membership, given the importance of this issue at the moment, and given that the STGs and EML impact on what is considered PMB level of care for COVID-19 in the private sector.

The following amended chapters are attached:

Primary Health Care infections Chapter (PHC10)- COVID-19 recommendations included – the only recommended medicine treatment is paracetamol
Hospital infections Chapter (AHChap9_Infections) – Heparins and steroids with alternative recommendations for dexamethasone in pregnancy where appropriate
Hospital Obstetrics Chapter (AHChap6_Obsterics) – recommendations for thromboprophylaxis and pain and fever management in pregnancy
Additionally the following reviews have been included for information:

Full report of the Considerations of the National Essential medicines List Committee for hospitalised patients (NEMLC Report)

An evidence review of the management of glucose in patients with COVID-19 (NDoH EDP Glucose Control)

3 rapid reviews of evidence of medication use in COVID-19 hospitalised patients: corticosteroids (recommended); mucolytics (not recommended) and Heparin dosing for COVID-19.

Additional rapid reviews of several potential treatment options, by the Essential Medicines List Committee are available on the Department of Health website at:

COVID-19 Rapid Reviews

SAMA will be submitting comments in response to these documents, if comments are warranted.

We would appreciate any comments / additions / changes which are evidence-based and appropriate by Monday 1 February to allow some time to fact check and collate the comments and recommendations made prior to final submission…more