The Boards of TSANZ and ANZSRS have been constantly reviewing the emerging public policies relating to COVID vaccination targets and the relaxation of current restrictions and the potential impact that this may have on our ability to deliver a vibrant and engaging Annual Scientific Meeting next year.
Current estimates of vaccination progress put Australia and New Zealand reaching over 80% of adults being vaccinated by early December. From that time, restrictions will be progressively lifted, and movement will rapidly increase. The various publicly available models predict significant numbers of cases, particularly in the first two to three months after re-opening, that progressively reduces over time. While the majority of cases will not require hospitalisation, there is likely to be increased pressure on clinical workloads and heightened awareness of risks around workforce availability. As peak respiratory health bodies supporting our professions, we need to also be cognisant of not exposing our members to increased risks, our financial position to support our activities and the reputational risks for respiratory health organisations holding a face-to-face conference that may subsequently impact on our ability to deliver appropriate healthcare, education and research activities.
While all options were considered the joint Boards have very reluctantly made the decision to change the 2022 TSANZSRS conference format to virtual.
By making this decision at this time we will be able to ensure that we can develop a program and virtual format that is engaging for both delegates and our partners. We remain committed to exploring options for Branches to hold local face to face events in parallel to the virtual conference and the TSANZSRS Conference organising committees will be working with our conference organisers – The Conference Company, the TSANZ Branch Executives and the ANZSRS Regional Chairs to determine the feasibility of this within the constraints of local conditions.
We anticipate that this early decision will ensure we can deliver the most effective virtual program possible based on the latest national and international trends and we look forward to opening the 2022 TSANZSRS conference and showcasing the latest clinical and research lung health practices in an engaging and memorable format.
|Professor John Upham
|Mr Danny Brazzale