Monday, September 15, 2008

Dr Rosen pledges ESCRS support for surgeon education in developing countries

A new strategic plan being developed by the ESCRS Board will include new support for an ophthalmology training programme, said ESCRS President Paul Rosen, FRCOphth, at the opening session of the XXVI ESCRS Congress on Sunday evening. The commitment is the result of an ongoing strategic review process designed to identify and address future needs of European cataract and refractive surgeons, Dr Rosen said.

“Over the coming months the Board will formalise a strategic plan for the next three to five years,” Dr Rosen told the more than 5,000 delegates attending this year’s Congress. “This will include a significant investment to educate and support the training of new doctors, the future lifeblood of the society, especially from emerging European markets. It is my hope the process will enable the Society to continue to grow and meet the expectations of its members.”

The plan will be the product of an ongoing strategic review initiated by the Board under Dr Rosen’s leadership. “In recent years the Society has been tremendously successful,” Dr Rosen noted. “But the Board agreed there is a need to review structure and strategy to ensure we can continue to grow. We want to create a plan to ensure the Society addresses the requirements of a changing and expanding membership base, and establishes clear policies on issues such as education and engagement of the emerging and developing markets.”

The strategic review has been conducted in consultation with the Board, ESCRS Committee Members, industry, world opinion leaders and society members, Dr Rosen said. “If you haven’t yet had your say, please do so and contribute online.”

EU grant to support pan-European outcomes registry

Dr Rosen also outlined plans for a new European outcomes registry. “I am delighted to announce the ESCRS has received a substantial grant from the European Union. The purpose is to develop the European Registry of Quality Outcomes for Cataract and Refractive Surgery.” In addition to ESCRS, the project involves 12 European national societies. Funding is for three years and data collection begins in April 2009.

“ESCRS firmly believes that a continuing audit of surgical outcomes is needed to ensure the best care for our patients,” Dr Rosen said. He encouraged delegates to visit the project's booth on the ICC convention floor for more information.

Dr Rosen also highlighted the need for cataract and refractive surgeons to develop their business skills and highlighted ESCRS efforts to help out. “One of our new initiatives of the Congress has been the EuroTimes Practice Management Resource Centre, which offers a series of lectures on business topics such as marketing risk management and reimbursement. I think these topics are a vitally important adjunct to our meeting. It is important for ophthalmologists today to enable them to thrive and remain independent. It is our intention to build on this programme in future meetings. We will be working on this project with the London School of Business, the number one business school in Europe.”

Dr Rosen also acknowledged the ongoing contributions of German ophthalmologists to the ESCRS and invited delegates to enjoy the cultural and entertainment attractions of Berlin. “In 2003 the Congress was held in Munich. We are delighted to return to Germany five years later to the vibrant city of Berlin.”

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