Rolling Inspiration contributor Heinrich Grimsehl attended the 2018 SAOPA Congress and found that change was taking place in the industry
The South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA) hosted their biannual congress at the Bloem Spa and Conference Centre in Bloemfontein from September 6 to 8. Prosthetists, amputees, suppliers and funders flocked together at the congress, where the winds of change were as evident as the dust storms outside.
Two years ago, SAOPA embarked on a mission to renew and strengthen its membership and, more importantly, align itself with the current rules, legislation and regulations of the South African healthcare environment, in which navigation is becoming more challenging by the day.
I am pleased to report that for the first time in many years the atmosphere was that of complete professionalism, harmony and understanding between not only practitioners, but also between suppliers.
Bloem Spa is the home of a beautiful flock of peacocks. These birds are beautiful to look at, especially when they fan their feathers. Believe me, when they scream their distinctive peacock “YELP” at 3am, they are more effective than any alarm clock!
Ottobock and Ossür provided the entertainment for the Thursday and Friday. A lamb spit and live entertainment at the end of a busy two days were highly appreciated. The SAOPA annual general meeting was scheduled to last for three hours, but took seven hours! Yet, after much discussion, all concerns were addressed and the executive committee and chairperson for 2019 were elected.
It seems that SAOPA has aligned and anchored itself steadily to face and tackle whatever the future might bring!