The International Hospital Federation and Unió Catalana d’Hospitals have continuously monitored the situation and public health and government advice related to COVID-19. We have thoroughly considered several options before arriving at the decision to postpone the 44th World Hospital Congress. This decision has been taken in the best interests of IHF members and congress participants – composed of hospital and healthcare leaders, executives, professionals, service providers – for the majority of whom are still in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
The effects of COVID-19 have caused budget limitations, especially in the healthcare sector, travel restrictions for international attendees, and more stringent regulations for delegates outside the Schengen area to obtain visas. Health services need to remain alert and focused now, and in the succeeding months, to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, build resilience for future waves, and recommence business operations. Prioritizing the health and well-being of our health workforce and wider community is a central tenet of the IHF’s mission.
Most hospitals and health services are expected to be fully mobilized against COVID-19 until the 2nd quarter of 2021. We believe that moving the World Hospital Congress to 2021 provides our community an enhanced opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and best practices, alongside unique opportunities for global collaborations with different actors in the health sector. The event will still address healthcare transformation, most importantly, transformations in the new normal era.
We are very much thankful for the time, efforts, and commitment that the Local Organizing Committee, Scientific Committee, Awards Committee, IHF and UCH members, speakers, sponsors, partners, abstract and award submitters, and the wider community have devoted so far to this event. We will continue to work with these groups to develop a comprehensive and exciting event experience for 2021.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this postponement and we hope that by making this decision now, we have avoided any further inconveniences. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and continued support. Those who have registered will have the option to transfer their registration to the 2021 event or request a full refund. The technical secretariat of Grupo RIC will be in touch soon.
As it remains important to the IHF to continue to support hospitals and healthcare organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic, the IHF is planning to host a virtual event in November. The event will put a spotlight on the response of healthcare providers to COVID-19 and the valuable learnings from responding to this difficult crisis and improving resilience. More information will be made available soon.
To stay connected to the IHF and be updated regarding the World Hospital Congress and the virtual event, sign-up to our mailing list here and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.
To stay connected to UCH, follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter.
For any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you in 2021!