The Speech delivered at the 25th Annual Conferenceof ATCSA in Cebu, Philippines, November 2015 by Dr. BUI DUC PHU, President of ATCSA
|Respected Chief Guest, dignitaries on the platform, honorable past presidents of ATCSA, my dear governing council members, my dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,
I, on behalf of the ATCSA, I welcome you all to the inaugural function of the 25th Annual Conference of ATCSA. I feel honored and proud stand before you as the President of an organization which was organized in 1972; some 43 years ago, in Manila, Philippines, and now today to be addressingyouonmattersof professional and organizational interests.
In this modern era, many cardiac diseases are currently treated with innovative new and improved techniques. So, tomorrow’s heart surgeon will need to be proficient not only in open surgical techniques, but percutaneous approaches, gene therapy, immunology, bioengineering, and even molecular biology. This is a daunting task. However, those who are drawn to this specialty have never been afraid of a challenge and no other specialty has had the breadth of knowledge combined with the surgical skill to treat heart disease.
Therefore, it is little wonder that fewer and fewer medical students and residents are choosing cardiac surgery as their specialty. Where in the past the specialty of Cardiac Surgery was an exciting area in which to spend one’s professional life; this still remains true, however, the long training and long working hours, plus eight or nine years of residency, and an uncertainty job market has taken its toll.
There are also many external pressures: the media, pressures of various professional and political congresses, insurance regulations and third party payers, the legal profession itself, and even our patients who have sometimes criticized our specialty. In addition technological and pharmacological advances have affected our patient volumes.
Also, today, there is a greater emphasis or importance placed on one’s life style, family time, and other quality-of-life issues. We all have heard so much about these considerations in today’s world as young physicians entering the medical profession choose their futures and focus on their specialties.
Yet, I firmly continue to believe that a career in cardiac surgery is as rewarding and fulfilling today as it ever has been. Many new challenges await and our specialty will surely change. However, for those drawn to the evolving knowledge and techniques in our specialty, there are opportunities for the future that are limitless and perhaps even more intriguing today than ever before.
Inside some Asian countries, there are challenges thatmust be faced. As in the past these continue to be: Poor access to cardiac surgery due to lack of money or infrastructures; Non-uniform academic activities and examination systems; A lack of needed basic training; A lack of awareness about commitments; The financial incentives attached to the profession arenot encouraging; Poor health care delivery in rural area, and Non-availability of quality drugs and equipment.
However, Iam confident thatwecanovercomeallthesedifficulties with a united effort. And, it is very heartening to note that many young cardiac surgeons of today are coming out of the four walls of operation theatre to train and manage heart disease in our rural areas.
I appeal and request all our members to take an active role in scientific intellectual exchange, including concerns in our political, economic and social aspects of our societies in order to support the building blocks that will bring the specialty of cardiac surgery to further heights and advancements in each country.
Regarding our ATCSA, the strength of any association depends upon its registered members. Although our number of life membership have increased in the last few years, there are still more qualified surgeons who are not members of ATCSA. There is urgent need to strengthen our society by enrolling all the qualified Cardiac surgeons of Asian countries as members of our society to make it strong, so that our voice is heard in al the programs connected to healthcare. I seek your support in this regard.
The efforts to organise CME Programmes in each country of ATCSA were successful and benefited postgraduates and consultant cardiac surgeons. I am confident that these programs will continue in the years to come and will be a regular feature of ATCSA. ATCSA must be link for guidance and support in these CME programs.
In addition , there is a well functioning website of each ATCSA congress but to this time, it is unfortunate tonotethat the project to set up and official ATCSA website,has not yet been realized or accomplished.
The Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia (ATCSA) always “Embraces change and promotes innovation”, then constantly grows in number of members and thoracic and cardiovascular surgery in the Asia is on the speed of development of quantity as well as quality and it has also considered as an important component of the entire healthcare industry.
As always the Annual Congress of the Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia has been a great venue for open, honest and compelling exchanges of experience and knowledge in a comfortable and collegial setting. This congress follows the successful tradition of more than four decades. And today it is our great pleasure to welcome you to the 25th Annual Congress of the Association of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Asia, held in beautiful Cebu city, with the theme “Working Together Beyond Borders’.
I hope this Conference of ATCSA will give each of us the opportunity to update and exchange the latest knowledge in the science and technology of thoracic & cardiovascular surgery and connected specialties. The fertile program for the 25th congress of ATCSA reflects the evolution of our specialty not only in Asia but in the world during recent years. Reports and scientific discussions will include state-of-the-art presentations on a variety of hot topics. Interactions and discussions with your colleagues from many different countries will stimulate creative exchanges of ideas and will be personally rewarding.
On behalf of Board council of ATCSA, I once again welcome you all, the faculty, the delegates and exhibitors, to the 25th Annual Conference. I am confident this conference will be agreatsuccess. We acknowledge the dedication and efforts of the planning committees and organizers, and our hosts from the city of Cebu-Philippines.
Thank you all for giving me this opportunity to serve you all as President ATCSA.
Wishing you all a happy and fruitful time in Cebu.
Best Wishes and may the ATCSA have an enduring impact on our communities and our specialties of Cardiac and Thoracic Health Care.