south african medical technology industry association
advancing innovation responsibility
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News

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Archived News
2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016
01 October 2019
On a Transformation Mission

SAMED is committed to transformation and believes we can drive meaningful and sustainable change as an industry body. The association supports transformation as an economic imperative and aims to be recognised as a benchmark of transformation. It strives to create an eco-system that gives members all the tools to enable them to transform their companies and calls on members and partners to participate in SAMED’s transformation journey.

This statement encapsulates the building blocks of a holistic strategy that will advance the transformation of SAMED and the industry, and South Africa more broadly.

The SAMED conference in July placed transformation high on the agenda, with deputy chairperson Ruwaida Shaikh and board members Stacy Meyer and Marlon Burgess participating in a panel discussion about industry best practices and experiences from different companies.

When asked to define transformation, Marlon said it was part of life and sustainability. “I recall how my employer in 2006 allowed black managers to create distribution projects targeted at the public sector. This was instrumental in us getting exposure to and beginning to operate in this segment.”

Ruwaida reflected on the opportunity for members to enhance transformation and the healthcare service when they sponsored community health workers, who are the cornerstones of primary healthcare. “It makes sense for firms generating income from healthcare to use transformation to benefit healthcare outputs. This way the industry aligns to government policies, transforms itself and transforms healthcare,” she said.

Multinational companies perceive ownership as a key barrier to transformation. One way to approach this factor is to recognise and strengthen the links between a company and its community, advised Stacy.

To further inform its transformation programme, SAMED surveyed perceptions, practices and plans among members. More than 70% of respondents saw transformation as one of their companies’ top priorities, and a similar number said they have an existing transformation plan in place.

Equity ownership was again highlighted as a particularly difficult component of B-BBEE requirements, with nearly two-thirds of responses suggesting it as the greatest challenge. One way to tackle it is through equity equivalent investments, and nearly half of the respondents indicated that they would be interested in exploring these programmes for their companies.

Other noteworthy findings and comments received entailed the following:
  • Learning about transformation best practices from healthcare and other industries ranked the highest as a transformation activity of interest.
  • Members were keen to engage with private and public sector entities on implementing skills, enterprise and supplier development.
  • About 80% of the member companies would support the YES initiative as a means to enhance their B-BBEE performance.
  • Companies welcomed a variety of industry-specific responses to the transformation imperative, including skills transfer initiatives for clinical staff who use their products, incubating and “speed-dating” SMEs with corporates especially to expand local packaging and manufacture, and identifying credible and sustainable MMEs and QSEs that can participate in the delivery of medical devices and technologies.