The 5th ICON conference was recently held at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town and proved to be a successful and enlightening meeting.
Central to ICON, is the desire to increase access to affordable and sustainable cancer care which, in the modern oncology era is becoming ever more challenging. As a result, this year we chose to focus on Outcomes and Value-based care. The intention of the meeting was to explore the important, but difficult, interface between ensuring the highest quality treatment and care for our patients – while functioning within the financial limitations of our particular environment. The agenda was designed to stimulate debate and workshop new ideas in these domains, and many productive discussions were had.
We were particularly privileged to welcome our international guests, who shared their wealth of expertise and unique perspectives on this complex subject. In addition, this year we had 4 parallel streams – Clinical oncology, Chemotherapy and Nursing, Oncology social workers and Business and administration.
The Plenary Sessions centred on Value-based Care, Outcomes collection, Quality Assurance practices and Access to care. The parallel clinical stream covered site-specific malignancies and evaluated the current trends in oncology practice in South Africa as compared with international standards and guidelines. The resultant discussions as to the best utilisation of available resources were overwhelmingly productive and collaborative. In addition, discussions around the practicalities of managing clinically challenging patients were had, and a wealth of knowledge and experience was shared by experienced oncologists in the field.
A great strength of this conference is that it allowed a platform for the bringing together of all disciplines involved in delivering care to our patients. And we know, as a country-wide, multidisciplinary network our collaboration, in the best interests of our patients, achieves far more than we can as an individual.
The organising committee would like to thank all the presenters and chairs of the parallel sessions for their valued contributions, as well as each delegate attending this year’s conference for bringing their expertise to the meeting.
Anita Bonthuys and Ernst Marais.