The International Society of Surgery (ISS) has announced that Malaysia will play host to the 49th World Congress of Surgery (WCS) in 2021. The announcement was made by ISS at the 47th WCS General Assembly, which is currently being held in Basel, Switzerland. The Malaysian delegations to this assembly were led by myself as the Director General of Health. We are certainly very delighted to receive this preeminent news which marks a defining moment for Malaysia, as it acknowledges the excellent hard work of its partners and stakeholders to secure the bid to host the congress in 2021.
The WCS is an international flagship for the profession of surgery worldwide. It is a convention of intellectual discourse held every two years by the International Surgical Society (ISS) in collaboration with its integrated societies, participating societies and national societies of the host country. The congress serves as a platform for all surgical sub-specialties to convene and enhance a mutual camaraderie and exchange innovative ideas, techniques and knowledge. Malaysia has long been an active member this world renowned society.
The successful bidding team was led by the Director General of Health Malaysia and the President of the College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine Malaysia, with strong support from the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), the Honorary Consulate and advisor to Malaysian tourism in Basel YBhg Datuk Jeffery Sandragesan, along with the universities, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and the respective partners in the medical industries.
The WCS 2021 is expected to generate positive economic impact to the country and it will fully maximise Malaysia’s growth potential as an international hub for surgical training and education. It will also enhance Malaysia’s reputation in attracting the best surgical talents and expert, and cement its position as a leading destination for health tourism. The 5 day bi-annual congress is expected to draw over 3,000 participants from more than 100 countries.
A robust partnership between the public and private healthcare sector, in addition to extensive personal networking and professional relationships built over the years, were among the key factors that helped us in our successful bid to host the WCS 2021. Malaysia offered the WCS the complete ‘eco-system’ in hosting this prestigious meeting, highlighting the strong teamwork between all stakeholders.
The President of the College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine Malaysia, YBhg. Associate Professor Dato’ Dr Hanafiah Harunarashid said, “It is of great honour for the Nation and our surgical fraternity to be given this opportunity for the first time in our history. But let us not celebrate yet – the hard work is just about to begin. We must all come together to show the world that we are more than capable of hosting this prestigious meeting at the highest standards”.
In this congress, I was appointed to the Executive Board as Councillor at Large for a 5-year term. This marked the first Malaysian to receive such recognition at this level, this add to the honour for the country; to lead and serve this renowned global society.
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
17th August 2017