At its recent annual conference, the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) recognised Dr Biren Valodia, Chief Marketing Officer at Mediclinic, and Melanie Da Costa, Director of Strategy and Health Policy at Netcare, with lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the industry and to the Association.
According to Dr Dumisani Bomela, Chief Executive Officer of HASA, Dr Valodia has fulfilled many roles in the organisation over much of the past two decades, including serving as Deputy Chair and as Chairman for two terms. He remains a board member and currently Chairs the Board Public Relations Committee. He thus remains committed and actively involved in advancing the role and value of private healthcare in South Africa.
Bomela says, “It is extremely difficult to summarise the various and many contributions Biren has made to the organisation and through it to the healthcare sector over such a long period but overall, his contributions have revolved around creating a stronger, more responsive, and more flexible organisation, and building stronger, warmer, more collaborative relations with various levels of government. Biren, for instance, drove an internal renewal process that made sure the right skills were in place internally to successfully position HASA in its mandate. He was instrumental in expanding the number on the Board of Directors to ensure its continuity, added strength in depth, and broader access to talent and expertise. On the other hand, Biren was Chairman of HASA during the onset of the pandemic when collaboration was so urgently required among the many various sectors in healthcare, and when HASA was pivotal to coordinating the contributions of the private hospital sector. His leadership was invaluable in us making such a positive contribution during the past extremely challenging years.
Melanie Da Costa, for a similarly lengthy period, has guided the HASA research output that has made significant contributions to key debates, including Human Resources for health scarcities, and to the development through Green Papers, White Papers, and draft legislation of the National Health Insurance.
According to Bomela, Melanie Da Costa is now widely acknowledged to be a key thinker in healthcare reform who is regularly sought out within and external to the private healthcare sector for her insights into healthcare reform. He says, ” It is no over-statement to say that without Melanie’s considerable and thoughtful efforts, HASA would simply not have achieved the status of an influential interlocutor in the health system that it currently enjoys. However, during the pandemic,” he adds, “Melanie quickly took on a leadership role within the Business 4 South Africa structures and without ceasing made a massive contribution to business support for the Government-led pandemic response – including the vaccine roll-out.”
HASA warmly congratulates both Biren Valodia and Melanie Da Costs for their massive contributions to the Association, and to the healthcare system and health delivery in our country.