USANZ Cancels Scientific Meeting in Sydney as COVID-19 Precautionary Measure
6 March 2020
The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) has announced the cancellation of its Annual Scientific Meeting which was scheduled to commence tomorrow (Saturday 7th March) in Sydney in recognition of potential risks to the wider community stemming from the COVID19 virus.
The Meeting was to be attended by almost 1000 delegates including urologists, other medical specialists, nurses and allied health care workers as well as members of the medical trade community and international speakers from Europe, Asia and North America.
The USANZ Board has been monitoring developments closely for several weeks.
“With the evolution of information, particularly in the last 48 hours, the Board met again this morning to consider the situation. All risks were considered including community health, personal risk of healthcare workers, other individuals involved in the meeting and financial risk. The safety of every individual was paramount in reaching the decision,” said USANZ President, Dr Stephen Mark.
“While we had strategies in place to mitigate against any potential infections, it was felt that in the interests of the safety of patients and other health workers across Australia and New Zealand at a time when health resources are already stretched, that it was the right decision to err on the side of caution and cancel the meeting. Whilst large meetings have not been banned at this point in time, the Board felt healthcare workers have a higher level of responsibility to the community.
“This has been a difficult decision made in a very fluid situation and we recognise it imposes significant inconvenience on all participants, but we determined that while small, the potential risks to the wider community at a time when we are trying to contain the spread of this virus, outweighed these inconveniences.
“As healthcare professionals our number one commitment is to our patients and the general health of the community and to promote a culture of preventing infections,” said Dr Mark.
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