SAPAESA holds 19th annual general meeting (AGM)
The South African Private Ambulance and Emergency Services Association (SAPAESA) held its 19th annual general meeting on 24 October 2019 at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. SAPAESA is a non-profit, member organisation that seeks to constantly improve the standards of pre-hospital emergency medical care in South Africa by combining the shared knowledge and resources of its members to uplift the service provision of the industry as a whole.
Chairman of the SAPAESA board, Clint Ruggunan, welcomed all members and sponsors to the one day event. Ruggunan introduced the current serving EXCO as well as SAPAESA’s CEO, Oliver Wright and Crystal Pateman, national coordinator, who organised the event.
Vice chair, Neil Gargan, presented the financial report and added that the SAPAESA membership includes private ambulance services, inter facility transfer services, first aid training providers and air ambulance services.
Clint Harker of Stability Risk, an independent financial services provider that offers risk and investment solutions, provided members with an overview of current insurance matters, including vehicle and portable assets cover, public liability and medical malpractice cover.
Ruggunan provided an overview of the current status quo of the National Health Insurance (NHI), saying that 84 percent of South Africans were pro NHI while only 16 percent questioned it. He added that emergency medical services (EMS) will be contracted to NHI.
EXCO member, Graydon Norton, discussed ‘Tackling business challenges in 2020’ and elaborated on pertinent issues pertaining to the private ambulance services such as investing in staff, consultants and marketing, the importance of vehicle and equipment maintenance, managing budgets and billing, goal setting, managing stress, development and training and education.
SAPAESA CEO, Oliver Wright, presented his annual report in which he provided the impacts and current status quo of the emergency medical services (EMS) under headings ‘the good’, ‘the bad’ and ‘the ugly’. Wright also shared insight into the self-management of claims, outsourced claims management and the importance of employing the correct staff to manage claims.
Dave Gardner, SAPAESA’s corporate secretary, shared the role of the SAPAESA executive and said the continuity is of the utmost importance. He added that joining the SAPAESA EXCO is a commitment and that it is a professional association that can self-regulate and be a voice for its members.
Nominations and elections for the new board and EXCO followed with both remaining the same ie:
Chairman: Clint Ruggunan
Vice chair: Neil Gargan
Treasurer: Terence Emslie
Corporate secretary: Dave Gardner
EXCO members: Glen Preston and Graydon Norton.
A members’ discussion followed, which highlighted the challenges faced by SAPAESA members and the EMS in general across South Africa.
Sponsors of the event included EMS Medical Claims Administrators, Mr First Aid and EVC Emergency Vehicle Conversions.
Fire and Rescue International will review the event in more detail its next edition. Congratulations to the SAPAESA board and EXCO for being re-elected and for their passion, commitment and impeccable standards!
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