The future of surgery, surgical funding and the surgical workforce in New Zealand will be examined by surgeons, meeting for their annual conference in Wellington next week.

“An increasingly aging population and workforce will give us some very significant challenges in the next few years so our meeting next week is a great opportunity to think about what they actually mean and work through them,” says Nicola Hill, Chair of the Royal of Australasian College of Surgeons’ New Zealand National Board.

Keynote speaker Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health, will open the conference with a presentation on the future of surgery and surgical funding.

Bernard (Bud) Alpert will give an American perspective on the future of surgery. Dr Alpert is a plastic surgeon based in San Francisco. He has more than 40 years of experience, including being one of the first surgeons to serve in Iraq at the start of the war in 2003.

Margy Pohl, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Whangarei, will talk about breaking down the barriers that are preventing women from choosing orthopaedic surgery as a specialty.

Whanganui otolaryngology surgeon P J Faumuina will encourage conference participants to think about what it really means to take diversity and inclusiveness seriously in the workplace.

Maxine Ronald, a Northland general and breast surgeon, will describe her experiences of walking in two worlds as a Māori surgeon.

Practical ways that surgeons can help close the gap in Māori life expectancy will be outlined by Karen Bartholomew, Clinical Director, Health Gain at Waitematā District Health Board.

And surgeons’ personal futures will be the subject of a discussion about when to retire, led by former Medical Council of New Zealand Chair, Andrew Connolly.

Surgery 2019: Back to the Suture! is at Te Papa on Thursday 15 August and Friday 16 August 2019.