On Sunday evening President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation regarding the COVID-19 global health crisis and declared a national disaster. In his address President Ramaphosa provided us with a clear and concise action plan relating to Covid-19. EPASSA applaud the president for his proactive stance. As citizens of South Africa it is up to every person and organisation to implement these measures to the best of our ability. In line with this and the policy of social distancing, the EPASSA Executive and Conference Committees have taken the decision to cancel all group activities for the foreseeable future.
Our annual conference scheduled for 23-26 June in Somerset West has been postponed until 2021. We will confirm dates as soon as these have been finalised. All plans for the conference are continuing and we hope to offer our members and colleagues a rich and diverse programme next year. We thank all of our members and colleagues who submitted abstract and presentations, along with our esteemed colleagues who had agreed to give presentations on a number of key topics and look forward to these presentation in 2021.
The EPASSA Education and Training sub-committee launched a pilot advanced training programme for intern and newly qualified psychologists earlier this year. We believe that the programme is extremely valuable and are currently exploring the possibility of ZOOM presentations or some other form of online media presentation. We will keep our members informed of developments, but in the interim the meetings scheduled for 27 March-19 June have been postponed until further notice. Please check our Facebook page and website for new developments.
We have noticed some discussions on social media about the ethics and ramifications of conducting remote consultations. We believe that it is vital that our members continue to provide services in these anxious times, but urge all of our members to ensure the confidentiality of all such consultations. Martin Strous, Chairperson of our Advocacy Committee, has contacted Discovery Health to gain clarity as to whether remote consultations will covered. Discovery have responded and are currently looking into the matter. EPASSA will keep our membership updated in this regard.
We are aware that a pandemic such as this creates anxiety and feelings of insecurity and that all of our members are currently dealing with this personally and within their own practices. EPASSA has drawn up the attached guidelines for our members. In this time of flux, social distancing and anxiety, please also stay connected on our Facebook and website.
We wish all of our members health and calm during these very challenging times.
The EPASSA executive committee.