The NZPS Council and the 2020 ASM Organising Committee met at 7pm on Sunday 15th March to discuss the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. In the last 24 hours, the situation in New Zealand has changed substantially, with the government announcing new travel restrictions yesterday, and plans to announce guidelines around mass events in the coming week. Today the Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield reiterated the importance of every single person playing their role and showing responsibility.
Based on these discussions, we have made the difficult decision that the NZPS 2020 Conference which was to be held from 19-21 March 2020 will not be going ahead. This decision also applies to the Nurses Special Interest Group Education Day and the Musculoskeletal Workshop which were to be held on Wednesday 18 March 2020.
While the government has currently not expressly prohibited events such as our meeting, the Council and Committee feel that bringing together a group of healthcare professions at this time, many of whom will likely be sorely needed in the coming few weeks, is just not worth the risk. We think this would not be a responsible thing to do while we are in the containment phase of the COVID-19 response. The NZPS wishes to support the efforts all New Zealanders are making to ‘stamp-out’ the COVID-19 virus.
The NZPS Council would like to express their gratitude to the ASM Organising Committee for all their hard work in putting together what would have likely been a memorable few days.
We are currently working through the consequences and pragmatics of this decision including discussing the possibility of rescheduling. We will be in touch as soon as we have further information to share. Our conference planner is busy working through these options and we will get back to you as soon as possible regarding details of registrations that have been paid. You can expect to hear further details from us in 7 to 10 days.
Regards The New Zealand Pain Society Council
Conference Management Committee
Convenor: Diane Henare
NZPS 2020 Conference is proudly bought to you by The New Zealand Pain Society Inc www.nzps.org.nz