The Medical Surgical Assistants Society of Australia reluctantly announces the cancellation of our conference scheduled for 21.3.20 at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, including the AGM and dinner at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. In recognition of the rapidly developing public health crisis caused by Covid-19, the executive and conference organising committee met last night, and were unanimous in their decision to postpone the event for an indefinite period.
The executive of MSASA has been following the progress of the Covid-19 outbreak closely and in particular noted the occurrence of infections following a radiology conference in Sydney, and the recent cancellations of several large medical events, due to public health concerns, and concerns for the welfare of all attendees.
Whilst we recognise that our members are well educated in the required measures to minimise infection risk, many are GPs and as such, they are also one of the highest risk groups in the community, due to their front-line role in seeing patients.
Our overarching concerns are to minimise risks to our members, to the surgeons we assist, to our patients and to the general public. We felt that to continue with the conference in the current climate placed our members at risk of infection, with potential large flow on effects to all three groups.
This has been a difficult decision in a rapidly evolving situation. We understand the inconvenience caused to all participants, especially those travelling from interstate, but we feel that as doctors we must put the safety and well-being of our patients, our surgeons, and the wider community first.
Registration fees to delegates will be refunded in due course. At this stage it is too early to consider a future date for the conference and dinner, but all registrants will be advised when a decision is made. The AGM will be held as a teleconference on 23.3.20 and members will be notified via separate email.
We ask for your understanding and patience at this time.
Dr Nigel Munday, Dr Eleanor Babcock, Dr Allan Craft, Dr John Whishaw, Dr Marty Blum, Dr Andrew Pranckunas.
On behalf of MSASA Executive and Conference organising committee, 9th March 2020