HiNZ postpones Digital Health Week NZ
Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ) has postponed its annual conference 'Digital Health Week NZ' for a second consecutive year, saying the Delta outbreak makes it too risky to proceed.
The conference, which was due to be held between November 29 and December 1 in Wellington, is normally attended by 1400 people. “We’re hugely disappointed" says HiNZ CEO, Kim Mundell, "but we have no option, given there’s no clear indication when the country will be able to safely run large-scale events again.”
The association could not wait any longer for alert levels to drop, because non-refundable expenses ramp up in the month before the conference, she said. “Our previous conference in November 2019 cost $1 million, so the financial risk from last-minute cancellation is significant."
Mundell said the postponement decision was made at the HiNZ Board meeting on Monday night.
HiNZ Board Chair, Becky George, says "HiNZ wishes to take a lead in protecting delegates and reducing transmission, and we are investigating ways to safely run in-person events in 2022 and enable sector wide engagement."
Mundell said the conference will be renamed Digital Health Month, and will incorporate a series of events, spanning the month of March 2022. It will incorporate in-person and virtual elements, to make it accessible to all.
The in-person conference is scheduled for 22-24 March 2022 at TSB Arena in Wellington.