Honorary Members


Photo Les Cooper

Leslie Cooper

Les was one of the founders of the Medical Advisors Group with Des Sonnenfeld.

He qualified in 1947 at Wits and practiced in Orange Grove and Sandown (at the present site of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange). He was chairman of the university soccer club for 3 years and captained the under-21 team for 2 years. He served on the executive committee of South African General Practice, which was replaced by the current Academy of Family Practice, for which he served on the national committee for 6 years. He was also an associate founder of the College of Medicine.

He also obtained the MFGP and DOH qualifications. He still attends the Academy of Family Practice seminars and the Department of Medicine academic meetings, and remains a regular supporter of the MAG monthly meetings and conferences.

Les is a charter member and still very active in Lions International for 53 years. He was awarded the Melvin Jones fellowship for dedicated humanitarian services in 2009.

Photo Johan Snyman

Johan Snyman

Johan joined the industry from general practice in 1991 as the first HMO in the Eastern Cape for the textile workers of Port Elizabeth.  His first MAG meeting was in August 1992 where he met colleagues like Des Sonnenfeld. Lesley Cooper, Egbert Prinsloo and Prof Harry Seftel.

He obtained the MPrax Med from the University of Pretoria and is registered with the FCFP(SA).

In 2000 he relocated to Johannesburg to join Fedsure Health, working with Professor Jan van der Merwe in the Board of Healthcare Executives as a research fellow and developing clinical protocols. After a hiatus with smaller schemes, he became medical advisor at Bestmed Medical Scheme in 2002, at Universal Health from 2009 to 2011, and part-time for Resilience Health from 2010 to 2012, focusing specifically on spinal surgery and spinal rehabilitation.  His last move was to Medical Services Organisation (MSO) in 2012 where he still works part-time since moving down to George in the Western Cape in 2014.

He is married to Yvonne and they have two children.  Their son Johan is an anaesthesiologist at the Toronto Gen Hospital in Canada. Their daughter Hanré is an occupational therapist currently working as a hand therapist at the Loma Linda University's Occupational Therapy Department in California.  

Johan took a keen interest in the affairs of the Medical Association and was chairman of the Eastern Province branch for almost 12 years, serving on the Science Committee and the Finance Committee, and was elected national president of SAMA in 1997. He was a founder member of the Academy of Family Practitioners of South Africa, serving on the executive committee for a number of years, and is still an active member. He also served on the HPCSA from 1999 till 2004.

Johan and Yvonne enjoy walking in the beautiful surroundings of the Garden Route and exploring remote gravel roads in their 4x4. 

Photo Peter Baker

Peter Baker

Peter is currently retired though remain on the board of the CMP as Medical Adviser and Board of Alphenvale Village.

He graduated MB.ChB. UCT 1958 and FRCS(SA) 1965 FRCS(Edin) 1966 FACS 1982.

Below is a short summary of Peter's CV:


  • Lecturer Surgery UCT Med School 1966
  • Junior Consultant (Full Time) Groote Schuur Hospital 1966
  • Private practice general surgery 1967 with part time consultant and lecturer posts at GSH and UCT Medical School
  • Senior Consultant GSH 1974 (part time)
  • Senior Consultant Victoria Hospital 1978 (part time)
  • Registration: Board of Medicine (Massachusetts) 1979
  • Fellow of American College of Surgeons 1982
  • Member of Breast Cancer Group and Vascular Society 1966 - 2016
  • Member of Endoscopic Surgical Society 1998 - 2016
  • Member and Vice Chair Western Cape branch of the Medical Association and Victoria Hospital Advisory Committee
  • Appointed by MASA to Board of Directors of Cape Medical Aid Society 1974
  • Vascular Laser Diploma and Diploma in Pharmaco-Economics 1992

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy

Jim worked for Barlow Rand/ Barloworld group for 32 years in various roles.

He worked in the mining industry for 7 years dealing with Trauma, Anaesthetics, Tropical Diseases as well as running a mine hospital.

This was followed by a move to the industrial division overseeing Occupational Health, Primary Health Care for employees and upscaling the AIDS strategy.

He was a Trustee and Principal Officer of the Barloworld Medical Scheme as well as Chairman of its ex gratia committee.

Jim joined the Medial Advisors Group in 1996 and soon afterwards became secretary as well as organizer of the Gauteng meetings and Annual Conference until 2004. During this period, multiple sponsors became a feature of the conference with Cape Town slotted in every 3 years.

Jim has now retired and he and his wife Hilary enjoy visiting the wildlife parks of Southern Africa.

Pam Otto

Pam Otto

Pam started her professional nursing career in 1954. She obtained extensive experience across the world in many disciplines of adult, paediatric, medical and surgical nursing. Her holidays were spent touring the world, and even included attending a Queen’s afternoon Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Back in South Africa, she worked at two Primary Care Clinics in Springs and in theatre at the Springs Nursing Home, the Chamber of Mines Hospital, Brenthurst Clinic and the Princess Nursing Home.

In1965, she worked for the Johannesburg City Health Department in orthopaedics at the Non-European Hosp. (NEH), Coronation, Natalspruit, Thembisa, Edenvale, and Baragwanath Hospitals, as well as the Bara. Paediatric Orthopaedic OPD Appliance Clinic and the NEH, and Coronation Clubfoot Clinics.

She also lectured at the Baragwanath Hospital Nursing School to the Post Graduate Orthopaedic Nursing Students and the Community Health Students at the Technicon. Pam resigned in 1974 prior to the arrival of her daughter, and did some voluntary work in the Orthopaedic Dept.

From 1981 she was manager of a Day Clinic in Randburg, which became so successful it necessitated the building of a new larger clinic in Johannesburg in 1987. She then joined the X-ray department at the Princess Nursing Home and later became Sister in charge of the Cath. Lab. and taking care of the trauma, ICU and anaesthetised patients in radiology.

In 1988 she joined Medscheme as a Hospital Specialist for hospital accounts and theatre drugs and materials. She assisted the medical advisors Dr Johnathan Gluckman and Dr Shalom Kaye. She was invited to the first Medical Advisors Meeting, and continued to attend meetings and conferences until shortly before her retirement.

She continued to keep abreast of developments specifically in theatre and Cath. Lab. procedures, and attended several committee meetings at RAMS and later BHF, such as the BHF/HASA Meetings, BHF Annual Tariff Negotiation meetings with suppliers for the publication of the BHF Guide to fees and the Technology Review Panel. She also chaired the BHF Panel of Hospital Experts Committee for several years which was responsible for Deliveries and Caesarean Sections being included in the Medical Aid Tariff structure.

She was involved in the BHF’ drafting of the criteria for Hospital and Sub-Acute Facility inspections to obtain their licences, and participated in several Private Hospital inspections countrywide. She participated in the SABTS development of their transport tariff structure as well as the National Renal Care and the National Kidney and Transplant Foundation criteria for renal dialysis and organ transplantation units and their funding. She also worked with the SA Bone Marrow Registry for scheme claims and developing a tariff structure. She collated and maintained the Medscheme Chronic Disease templates and perused new technology applications.

After the Medical Advisory Department was moved to Cape Town she worked on coding for automatic payment through the assessing system, assisting the assessing staff with medical queries, and reformatting a complete set of rules for a Namibian Medical Aid.

On her 73rd birthday she resigned from Medscheme. Pam was married to the late Quentin Otto, who was an Orthopaedic surgeon, and has a son and daughter. Notwithstanding her worldly travels, she fondly remembers holidays to Zanzibar, Mombasa and a whale watching boat trip at Hermanus. She now lives at Sheffield Beach on the Dolphin Coast with her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter Cassandra, enjoying watching the everchanging ocean and beautiful whales.

Lourens Smith

Lourens Smith

Lourens worked in the SA National Defence Force, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) for 33 years in various roles.

He worked in 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria as a medical officer before moving to Easter Caprivi and later the Kavango in Namibia as a medical officer in charge of operational medical services of which a major part was trauma surgery and tropical diseases.

This was followed by a period as the staff officer of medical services in the then Witwatersrand, officer commanding 2 Military Hospital (Cape Town), 3 Military Hospital (Bloemfontein), Free State Medical Command. In between this he obtained post graduate qualifications in community health and health administration as well as aviation medicine and completed the required military training for officers and was part of the team responsible for the restructuring of the SAMHS after 1994.

In 2000 he took command of all military hospitals and institutes for aviation, maritime, veterinary medicine and industrial psychology before becoming the deputy surgeon general, the position from which he retired in 2014.

He joined the industry in September 2014 as a medical advisor at PPS Health Administrators till August 2022.

Lourens is married to Lena-Marie, a professional nurse, for 43 years. They are now retired, enjoying nature, family and trying to keep up with medical matters.

He is a life member of SAMA.

Bentley Phillips - passed away February 2018

Norman Levy - passed away 24/10/2018

Des Sonnenfeld - passed away 30/11/2020

Harry Cecil Seftel - passed away 3 December 2023

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