National Anaesthesia Day 2020

Each year, on 16 October, we celebrate the anniversary of the day in 1846 that ether anaesthetic was first demonstrated in Boston, Massachusetts by supporting public activities and displays in hospitals around Australia and New Zealand.

This year's theme “Anaesthetists: Always Ready” builds on the profile that our specialty has received as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the role our doctors have played. It’s a chance for us to share the special attributes of anaesthetists with patients and the wider community. 

Our fellows, trainees, and SIMGs around Australia and New Zealand share their experiences as an anaesthetist on the front line, and explain why they're "always ready" for any emergency.


Click on the images below to download hi-res posters to print or display on digital noticeboards.


Join our #AlwaysReady video campaign

It's not too late to join our “always ready” video campaign, please take a look at this short "how to" video and accompanying guide. The videos will be edited and shared via our YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, as well as being made available to play on a loop in your hospitals.

In this video, ANZCA councillor Dr Tanya Selak offers some simple tips and tricks to sharing your story via video.
Always Ready - Tips For Sharing Your Story
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About National Anaesthesia Day

Anaesthesia is one of the greatest discoveries of modern medicine and many of today’s operations, especially for the very young, very old or very ill would not be possible without it.

Australia and New Zealand are two of the safest places in the world to have a general anaesthetic. All anaesthetists are highly trained specialist doctors. Your anaesthetist will have worked for at least two years as a junior doctor after finishing medical school, then complete at least five years of training to become a specialist anaesthetist.

Every patient is different, every anaesthetic is different and anaesthetists will make modifications according to specific needs. If you have any questions about your anaesthesia, please speak with your treating specialist.

Each year, hospitals across Australia and New Zealand celebrate National Anaesthesia Day in different ways with many setting up foyer booths with displays of equipment and mannequins. They have anaesthetists on hand to answer questions and hand out patient information sheets.

We also run a media campaign to highlight anaesthesia and the theme chosen each year.

  • Date

    16 October

  • Time


  • Location

    Anaesthesia departments, around Australia and New Zealand

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Last updated 13:08 4.12.2020