At the SATS 2015 Conference in May, the name change of the organisation was changed and the adoption of the new name – the Association for Peri-operative Practitioners in South Africa (APPSA) – became official. It was a considerable achievement following months of deliberation, meetings and discussions, and many feel the move was long overdue. Together with this name change came new responsibilities. According to the APPSA Constitution, one of our objectives will be to ‘Endeavour to represent all Peri-operative Practitioners in SA’. This can be a formidable challenge as our country has
many widespread rural areas where it is difficult to contact hospitals or the staff working there. And although technology has made the world smaller, it still happens that vital messages do not reach them.
So how are we going to go about implementing change? Over this weekend I come across a group of peri-operative practitioners in Mpumalanga who have started the ball rolling. Mpumalanga is a large area with a number of small hospitals. To attend meetings often means that attendees have to travel long distances. Srs J Smith and TJ Griffith took up the challenge, organised a programme, invited as many peri-operative practitioners from Mpumalanga as they could reach – and the result was outstanding. People travelled from ‘as near as’ Nelspruit and ‘as far as’ Johannesburg to attend. This was indeed most encouraging, and I can only congratulate them, and wish them all the best for their future plans. The road ahead is never easy, but if you believe in what you do, and you know how important it is to reach your goal, you will never be discouraged. This brings me to another point.
Why do we not have more people willing to take up this challenge? The success of Mpumalanga speaks for itself – and it can speak for you as well. Repeat the exercise and tell the same story in North West, Northern Cape, and Limpopo. I firmly believe that there are people out there eager to emulate this example. Why don’t you come forward and start a discussion group in YOUR province? Why are you sitting outside the circle of knowledge? It only takes a little effort, some enthuisiasm, some leadership, and you, too, could be on your way.
If you have any questions, the APPSA National Executive Board will assist you at any time. Many members from the Gauteng Chapter travelled to support our colleagues on this momentous day, and we will do it for you too! My contact details are freely available and if I can be of help, please make use of me. The same can be said for all the members of the APPSA National Executive Board. You are not alone. APPSA wants to spread its wings and live up to our objectives, but we cannot do it alone. In order to truly become the voice of South Africa’s peri-operative community, we need to establish – and maintain – an APPSA chapter in every province of our country. I hope that when you read this you will be encouraged and seriously consider what needs to be done to make peri-operative care in all our hospitals the best care we can provide to all our patients.
We are ready, willing and able to assist you in any way possible towards making your PROVINCE an Independent Chapter.
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