The 20th BHF Annual Southern African Conference was held between 21 and 24 July 2019 at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town. Over 1 000 delegates from the healthcare industries of over 20 regional and international countries attended, including healthcare executives, professionals, principal officers of medical schemes, policy makers, regulators, government officials and representatives of international organisations. The conference featured guest speakers from across the SADC region, the USA, Kenya, Ireland, India and Germany among other speakers, and dignitaries including, the Namibian Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services Juliet Kavetuna, Namibian Deputy Minister of Finance Paulos Ithete, Namibian Member of Parliament Heather Sibungo, Director General: National Department of Health Ms Malebo Precious Matsoso and Gauteng MEC for Health in Gauteng Dr Bandile Masuku.
Various organisations were represented, including medical schemes, pharmaceutical companies, administrators, investment houses, government departments, managed care organisations and international bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The conference provided a platform for delegates to share, discuss and debate ideas and strategies. There were also great opportunities throughout the four days of conference for delegates to network and socialise with their like-minded peers.
The 2030 Healthcare Scenarios were also launched during the conference, to unpack what the future of healthcare could look like in 2030 should the status quo continue to be sustained.
Informed by a set of scenario planning methodologies, through various engagements, a team of 40 industry experts conducted a series of engagements that focused on defining the game and identifying the players, while envisioning what winning would look like. They developed four healthcare scenarios which were launched at the conference.
Themed Convergence 2030 – Healthcare Re-imagined, the conference focused on the role of convergence in defining what the healthcare system will look like in 2030. A major part of the conference was dedicated to understanding the role of multi-sectoral convergence in delivering quality health services and why it is important to scale up. The objectives of the conference are summarised as follows:
- Defining and understanding our new healthcare ecosystem
- Track industry roadmap – patient-centric system
- Multisectoral scenario planning and action plan.
- Strengthening accountability
- Empower medical scheme trustees and principal officers with tools to keep up with the rapid changes in the system
- How can we fast-forward gender parity in healthcare?
- Defining efficiency
- Harness emerging technologies to efficiently and effectively deliver quality care
- Promote the eradication of fraud, waste and abuse in the system.
- Health system reform
- Review the need for regulatory change
- Evaluate recent developments and lessons learned.
Besides the plenary sessions and panel discussions, conference delegates could choose between attending nine workshop sessions of choice for more focused engagements on issues of interest. Various case studies were also presented during the conference to provide an understanding of healthcare systems across the region and the world. Delegates who attended the conference gained CPD points, allocated as follows by the South African Medical Association:
Day 1 = 4 ethics
Day 2 = 4 ethics
Day 3 = 8 ethics
Day 4 = 4 ethics