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Welcome to the beautiful and fascinating city of Amsterdam. Amsterdam has always been open for new ideas and throughout its history has dared to look beyond its borders. It is fitting that EuSEM’s congress is taking place in Amsterdam. In this congress we also seek new ideas and seek to move emergency medicine forward internationally.
Amsterdam has a history of creating wealth through global trade. I was reading about how Amsterdam became the richest city in the world in the 1600s: “Amsterdam’s wealth was generated by its commerce, which was in turn sustained by the encouragement of entrepreneurs, whatever their origin. In the 1600s, ships from the city sailed to North America, Indonesia, Brazil and Africa and formed the basis of a worldwide trading network for everything from spices and silks to diamonds. Rembrandt painted in the city at the peak of its prosperity. Today the city has a globally active service and knowledge-based economy including banking and finance, transport, freight logistics and trading, while its airport is one of Europe’s busiest.
Like Amsterdam, we in emergency medicine must take an international view of our challenges. Emergency medicine is growing rapidly and undergoing major changes across Europe. We have become a key provider of medical treatment, going way beyond the early concepts of accident and urgent care at the evening or weekends when other care providers are absent. In some of the largest European countries, statistics show the number of patients in emergency departments each year reaches a quarter of the population. This huge number of patients demands high quality of treatment. Waiting times in emergency departments are a number one theme in the press and television in some countries. To cope with such challenges emergency medicine needs new ideas. Like the merchants from Amsterdam who made the city rich by reaching out to the world, we must also look beyond our own countries. We must be open to new ideas and seek new knowledge to find new answers.
I am sure this international congress will help us to meet the challenges we face.
Join us in Amsterdam!
Dr. Barbara Hogan, MBA