"The future of international paediatric congresses"

(Working Group)

National and international medical congresses are an integral part of continuous professional development for health scientists and clinicians. However, recent scientific publications, have emphasized that medical congresses are becoming larger, more luxurious, and expensive, with a possible impact on their cost-benefit, and considerable concern was raised about their value or whether they are merely “a profit making enterprise” (Acta Paediatrica. 2012;101:1194-5 1.click here).

The further proliferation of national and international paediatric congresses in Europe, has become an issue for the scientific societies as well as for industry, and EPA-UNEPSA started the debate on such important problem with an article published on the Journal of Pediatrics (2015;166:504-506 2.click here). Often, such congresses are in fact not related to established national scientific societies and are developed by self-appointed scientific teams, groups and organizations. Therefore, the scientific conclusions are not officially recognized and the practical outcome of such meetings is basically a mere draining of resources from the industry/companies, with no real benefit to children and their health.

Such topics were openly and fruitfully debated in collaboration with the European Academy of Pediatrics (EAP) and ESPGHAN (representing the European pediatric specialty societies), in a dedicated workshop which was held during the 7th Europaediatrics. EPA-UNEPSA promoted the founding of a multilateral working group which will explore this delicate matter, leading to a position document to be shared by the main National European Paediatric Societies and Associations and the Private Sector. We invite the EPA-UNEPSA member organizations and the representatives of private sector and industry to join the working group and to give their important contribution.

If you are interested to join the Working Group, please contact the WG coordinator, Dr. Simon Lenton (simonlenton@doctors.org.uk) or the secretary general of EPA-UNEPSA at secretarygeneral@epa-unepsa.org.