Dear friends in PAG
I am delighted to take over the reins as President of EURAPAG and would like to pay tribute to our departing President Milko Sirakov who has done so much for PAG both in his native country of Bulgaria but also on the international stage championing PAG in Europe. To him we owe a debt of gratitude.
We have a keen new Board and welcome Zana Bumbliene as President-elect. Zana did an outstanding job of organising an excellent Congress in Vilnius in 2017, and this was an opportunity for so many of us to meet and network with delegates not just from Europe but from all continents. I will also be supported by the experienced Gabriele Tridenti from Italy as Vice-President.
We welcome Evelien Roos from the Netherlands who has just joined the Board and this is extremely propitious as the Dutch Society has very kindly offered to host the next European Congress in Rotterdam in 2020, so watch this space for exciting news.
Also new to the Board is Anastasia Vatapoulou from Greece as we welcome a new generation of PAG enthusiasts – and enthusiasm is what is needed as we face challenges at a global level.
We face a number of challenges including registration of the Association and complexities relating to our banking arrangements which are ably being addressed by our Treasurer Zuzana Nižňanská.
There is a need to consolidate PAG services throughout Europe to provide appropriate care to high standards, and in order to achieve this there is a need for PAG to be recognised at the very least as a special interest area across Europe and ideally as a recognised subspecialty in Obstetrics and Gynaecology – what else should be expected from an area of health care that involves 18% of the global population who are children and adolescents?
In order to achieve this we need to work together, strengthen education and training and recruit support at a political level. EURAPAG is consolidating its links with EBCOG in much the same way for instance that BritSPAG is working alongside the RCOG in the UK. This is against a background of increasing pressures on national health services which might impact adversely on the ability for smaller niche areas of interest such as PAG to develop, and some existing services may be under threat as result of wider both acute and chronic healthcare priorities. It is up to us to ensure that PAG has a strong voice within our healthcare systems and that we fly the flag for PAG for the sake of our young patients and their families.
It was therefore heartening to see new members join the Association, with applications from France, Estonia, Sweden and Belarus in Vilnius this year. EURAPAG continues to grow and there is always strength in numbers.
To those countries who do not yet have representation then I would urge you to join our shared values and principles and work for the common good of PAG in Europe. To those of you who are existing members please do play an active role over the next three years.
Feel free to contact me and members of the Board. Please let us have your thoughts and suggestions in order to improve EURAPAG. Without you we would not be able to function. Thank you for your support!
Finally I am grateful to Ivonne Bedei from Germany who has kindly agreed to take over the role of Secretary-General. We are all busy clinicians who are willing to go the extra mile for PAG and the efforts made by the Board members should not go by unnoticed.
With warm wishes for a bright and successful European future for PAG
I am honoured to be nominated by new Executive Commitee as President-elect of EURAPAG. I am very grateful for the appreciation of my contribution organising the 14th European congress of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology. I would like to thank the former President Prof. Milko Sirakov and all Board members of EURAPAG 2014-2017 for wholehearted support, mentoring and active participation in the preparations of the Congress. Working together we are able to achieve incredible results.
As the interest in the paediatric and adolescent gynaecology around the world is noticeably increasing, the field is often being discussed not only between gynaecologists but also among general practitioners, paediatricians, urologists, endocrinologists, haematologists, and oncologists. It is an excellent sign that our congresses are getting attention from practitioners outside of gynaecology, as paediatric and adolescent patients often require multidisciplinary approach.
Today in many countries, including Europe there are no guidelines in PAG field. Issues regarding PAG subspecialty in various countries are dealt with by different specialist, their experience, knowledge and practical approach vary. Our goal is to help in training these specialists internationally.
I am delighted to notice that our Organisation attracts new members. Colleagues from Estonia and Belarus participated in our EURAPAG Congress for a first time in Vilnius. In order to make the information about our activities widely available and to improve communication we will emphasize the regular updates of our website and facebook account.
I will do my best to support Paul Wood and whole Executive Board during the next 3 years in achieving our goals and in preparations of national PAG congresses and the next European Congress in Rotterdam.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or other Board Members if you have any ideas, issues or questions.