Dr. Fundile Nyati

Dr. Fundile Nyati
MBChB and M. Fam. Med (Natal)
Proactive Health Solutions (Pty) Ltd
Presentation Title
EAP Industry In SA a ‘Sitting Duck’ for Massive Disruption
Content Focus Area
Industry Level
Managing Wellness Information – Answering The “So What?” Question
Biographical information related to the topic
Dr Fundile Nyati is a Healthcare Entrepreneur who 18 years ago co-founded Proactive Health Solutions (Pty) Ltd {PHS}, a leading ‘One-Stop-Shop’ Employee Health and Wellness service provider in South Africa. He is a qualified Specialist Family Physician who obtained both his Undergraduate medical degree (MBChB), and Post Graduate medical degree (Master of Family Medicine) from the University of Natal Medical School, now known as University of KwaZulu-Natal, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine. He is also a qualified business leader and manager who obtained an Advanced Management Programme in Healthcare certificate qualification from the University of Manchester, Business School.
He is the current Chief Executive Officer of Proactive Health Solutions (Pty) Ltd, that offers integrated Employee Health and Wellness solutions to its large employer clients in both public and private business sectors. The customised and integrated health and wellness solutions that his company offers include all four of the established pillars of employee health and wellness namely:
• Sick Absenteeism, Incapacity and Disability Solutions;
• Occupational Health Solutions;
• Disease Management Solutions; and
• Employee Assistance Programme solutions.
During the last 18 years as a business leader within the Employee Health and Wellness industry, he has gained valuable industry knowledge and insights which have developed him into a well-rounded EHW niche industry thought leader. He is a much sought-after speaker who has presented to various national healthcare conferences, as well as facilitating many industry symposiums and workshops.
He is also a frequent guest expert on many media platforms namely radio and television, as well as a prolific writer to many regional and national print media. Early this year, he established a dedicated healthcare blog (www.fundilenyati.com) that has developed into a rapidly growing go-to destination for incisive written opinion pieces on many topical health industry current affairs issues, as well as informative and well researched health promotion articles that follow the international and national health calendars.
He is now in the process of expanding his healthcare blog offerings by adding vlogging (short video blogging) that will tackle more health industry current affairs and health promotion issues, in sizeable bites.
The EAP industry in South Africa has been in existence for the past quarter of a century or so. The EAP industry has not evolved much during the past two decades in terms of its business model, scope of healing practice, mode of service delivery, embracing the indigenous South African and African context, as well as development of win-win pricing models, that ensure that the risk and incentives are shared equitably between both the employer and the service providers. Basically, the industry has not really been affected by the changing needs and expectations of the South African EAP market.
The theme for this year’s EAPA conference is Response-Ability – Engaging to Shape the Ideal Workplace. Unpacked, the Theme zooms in deeper and asks pertinent questions at the various EAP stakeholders, namely: Employers; EHW/EAP professionals; EAP service providers; EAP Networking Structures/Associations on the role that they are playing or should be playing to ensure that EAP interventions are relevant and result in tangible benefits on the health, attendance, productivity, competitiveness, operational cost savings and bottom line to the organisations.
Further, questions are being asked of the role and competencies of the EHW/EAP professionals, with regards to their on-going professional development beyond the original Counselling professional skills, to be effective in planning, executing, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the EAP programmes, beyond the demeaning perception of them being seen to be involved in a cost centre of ’tissues and tears’ that brings less value add to employers.
The fact that the EAP industry has not really changed much in the past two decades, yet the environment within which it is delivered has changed substantially is reason for serious concern with regards the relevance and sustainability of the industry. The technological advances towards the 4th Revolution, as well as the changing workers’ demographics in both public and private sectors, due to the deliberate transformational policies of the new democratic order, make it obligatory for the EAP industry to ask itself serious questions, which if correctly answered will ensure its re-engineering towards sustainability.
Some of the critical questions that need to be asked are the following:
• Is the EAP industry growing, if not why is it so?
• The utilisation of EAP programmes in many employers remains unsatisfactory, why is it so?
• The EAP programmes which are supposed to be brief ‘Psycho Social’ interventions remain mainly focussed on mental and to some extent social interventions, with little and no impact on the ‘Soul/Spiritual’ realm of the affected employees, why is it so?
• The EAP industry in SA is still very much Western Oriented in Africa, where 70 percent of people have deep African Belief Systems, why has the industry not attempted to indigenise to create an African relevant EAP programme?
• We live in the era of the Information Age, and towards the 4th Industrial Revolution, where everything is being digitised:
o how is the industry responding to this impending revolution?
o Are there any professional or regulatory impediments towards use of technology to administer relevant secure interventions to our technology savvy clientele?
• There is a perception that the current per capita cost model of EAP is a one sided one, that favours service providers, at TBC
Session Description
The session will be a thought provoking, controversial interactive at times radical introspection into the stagnant world of EAP in South Africa, which has a lot of growth potential, but has not grown much because of its inward looking approach, which is not has failed to realise that in South Africa the EAP model and approach must indigenise, and keep up to date with the changing customer needs and expectations due to changing technology landscape and employee profiles.
Learning Objective 1
Understanding The Current EAP industry challenges in SA
Learning Objective 2
Acknowledgement Of Need For Change For the Sake Of Industry Sustainability
Learning Objective 3
Commitment To Be Part Of A New Customer Centric EAP model in SA
Audience Level