He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

Pivoting to fully virtual, the organisers of the Aotearoa New Zealand Anaesthesia ASM pull off a great conference.

Showing real-life examples of how health services, systems, people, and even buildings can become safer and more resilient following disasters was one of take-home lessons from a compelling Aotearoa New Zealand Anaesthesia ASM that was broadcast out of Christchurch 27-30 October.

The theme this year, Whakaora (To Heal): Our patients, Ourselves, Our City, Our Planet, was ambitious. However, the conveners delivered that and more with session after session of hard-hitting, sometimes confronting and always edifying presentations.

From the high-powered content delivered by the keynote overseas speakers Professor Carol Peden, Professor Dan Sessler and Professor Bernhard Riedel, to the compelling stories from the Christchurch earthquakes and mosque attacks, the running narrative was about learning and doing things differently.

Professor Peden, world expert on emergency laparotomy audit, probably best summed this up when she quoted a proverb that is relevant to us now as we navigate a pandemic - He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata |What is the most important thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people. In her Alan Merry Oration, she talked about using big data for emergency laparotomies to change practice - but she said data alone is not enough. “You have to tell the stories. Data does not motivate people. For change to happen you have to get the why … the emotion as to why we have to do things differently.”

Read more about the presentations in the Summer Bulletin out in December 2021.

Last updated 12:29 12.11.2021