On behalf of the organising committee, we invite you to join us at the RACS 91st Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from Monday 1 – Friday 5 May 2023.
Along with Dr David Walters, we have invited Dr Ashani Couchman, President of the Continence Foundation of Australia – South Australian Branch and, Dr Christine Lai, RACS Councillor and Chair of Fellowship Services as the Executive Committee to develop the ASC 2023 theme and plenary sessions.
In 2020, the RACS introduced the tenth competency, Cultural Competence and Cultural Safety, that emphasises the significance of understanding the individual, social and cultural needs of our patients to ensure that these needs are at the centre of the care we provide. More importantly, the competency also acts as a reminder to us as health professionals that a willingness to embrace diversity in our day-to-day interactions with patients, families, carers and our team is crucial to the success of what we do.
To promote conversations and reflect our understandings in cultural competence and cultural safety, we agreed on the Congress theme of “Equity in Surgery”. The theme, on the one hand, aims to explore health inequalities and how to eliminate them; and on the other hand, it intends to generate discussions about how the traditions and beliefs of individual cultural backgrounds of our patients can impact on how we provide care. This is also an opportunity for us to self-evaluate as healthcare providers to acknowledge how our own biases can influence our judgements and decisions; and how we can mitigate the effects of our own opinions when we treat our patients.
As leaders in the community, we should always try to better ourselves to promote an inclusive environment to break down barriers and eliminate health inequities. These self-reflections, however challenging and uncomfortable, are necessary to help us understand how we can work cohesively as a team to deliver high quality patient centred care and achieve optimal health outcomes.
It will also be a great opportunity to visit Adelaide and its surroundings again. The Riverbank Precinct includes an expanded Adelaide Convention Centre that will host the ASC, redeveloped Adelaide Oval and new world leading integrated health and bio-medical research hub, all interconnected by walkways and a river footbridge.
We look forward to welcoming you to the ASC 2023 in Adelaide from Monday 1 – Friday 5 May.