In light of the COVID-19 pandemic the Organising committee of the ANZSCTS Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) has taken the difficult decision to cancel the scheduled 12-15 November Wellington meeting. This decision is fully supported by the ANZSCTS Executive.
A number of factors played into the decision. These include uncertainties around the severity of the pandemic, issues around international travel, for attendees and speakers and issues for industry sponsors. A major consideration is the public health implication of bringing together a large group of Surgeons, Trainees, Nursing and Allied Health personnel together from around New Zealand and Australia.
We felt the risk to the health system of our countries was too great. The management team has done extensive work to look at implications of multiple scenarios and we feel an outright cancellation was the best option.
While there is six months before the meeting and we recognise the situation is fluid, a decision was required now as postponing the ASM after early May would have cost the Society several hundred thousand dollars. The Executive will monitor the situation closely and consider opportunities to run an educational meeting particularly with Trainees in mind.
The Organising committee for the Wellington meeting has put a great deal of work into the ASM, and we share their disappointment that the pandemic has derailed their efforts. I personally wish to thank the organisers and the secretariat for the diligence in their responsibilities to our members. The organising committee has kindly agreed to convene the ASM in Wellington in 2022. We have negotiated with the venue, Te Papa to hold the meeting between 9-13 November 2022.
The next ASM is scheduled for Cairns in November 2021 in conjunction with ISMICS, ANZ Clinical Perfusion and ANZ Cardiac Anaesthesia Special Interest Group.