4 January 2021

Update by president Ragnar Jonsson

President Ragnar Jonsson on the NOF in 2020 and 2021

I wish you all a happy new year!

As the last days of the year 2020 are over, tradition demands that we look back and think about the past, and look ahead at the future.

2020: the year of COVID-19

COVID-19 has dominated the scene and the year 2020 will always be remembered as the year of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a recently discovered Coronavirus that causes a serious infectious disease. This contagious virus has spread around the world, leaving behind serious illness and deaths.

Various health systems have been forced to their knees, fighting this epidemic with varying degrees of success. Currently, a new vaccine gives us hope that the epidemic will soon be under control after a sufficient number of people have been vaccinated.

Orthopaedic clinics around the world have all had their share of problems related to this epidemic and have been struggling to take care of the constant flow of patients. But the heavy burden on hospitals and other health care providers in general has also seriously impacted the work of all orthopaedic clinics around the world, reducing and affecting their activities. In anticipation of the future development of COVID-19, several meetings and conferences have also been cancelled or put on ice.

NOF Congress postponed to 2022

The COVID-19 epidemic has also seriously affected the work and activities of the Nordic Orthopaedic Federation. The biennial NOF Congress was scheduled in Trondheim, Norway in May 2020. This was a centennial congress, in preparation since 2017. The congress committee in Norway had scheduled a high-level orthopaedic scientific program, which we unfortunately were forced to cancel in April 2020. Congress president Ketil Holen and his colleagues are to be congratulated on completing the difficult task of cancelling and dissolving the congress with minimal economic loss to the Norwegian Orthopaedic Association and the NOF. As a result, the NOF’s economy was not compromised.

After the cancellation of the congress in Norway, it was decided to postpone it to the year 2022 and move it to Lithuania.

Thoughts on the future

In these difficult times, questions have been raised about the future of the Nordic Orthopaedic Federation. I have been involved in the administration of the NOF for the past sixteen years and questions about the future of the NOF and the need for such a general federation have regularly arisen during this time. The fact that the NOF has grown with new members from the Netherlands and the Baltic states clearly answers these considerations and questions. The existence of a general orthopaedic forum is clearly well accepted despite ongoing further evolution of subspecialities.

It is not the first time that the NOF is going through difficult times that could threaten its existence. The NOF survived two world wars without breaking. There is no doubt in my mind that the NOF will survive this virus epidemic too.

No general assembly in 2020

The general assembly of the NOF is held every two years in connection with the NOF Congress. The general assembly elects the president and the vice president. Because there was no congress in 2020, it was impossible to follow the procedure as stated in the NOF statutes. The board of the NOF decided during a Zoom meeting in November 2020 that Heikki Kröger and I continue as vice president and president, and that other changes will await the Lithuanian general assembly in 2022.

My sincere thanks for this decision. My colleagues and I at The EXCOM will continue to do our best over the next two years.

Ragnar Jonsson,
president of the NOF

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