The 5th Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON) conference was recently held at 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 ICON 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 patients, while functioning within the financial limitations of the particular environment.
The agenda was designed to stimulate debate and workshop new ideas in these domains, and many productive discussions were had.
It was a particular privilege to welcome the international guests, who shared their wealth of expertise and unique perspectives on this complex subject.
The plenary sessions centred on value-based care, outcomes collection, quality assurance practices and access to care. While four parallel clinical streams – clinical oncology, chemotherapy and nursing, oncology social workers, and business and administration – were hosted. These parallel streams 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 patients. And we know, as a countrywide, multi-disciplinary network our collaboration, in the best interests of our patients, achieves far more than we can as individuals.
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.
The Medical Specialist Holdings is a South African-based company that offers oncology related clinical, administrative, and business management services to oncology practices across Africa.
MSH – a holding company of the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON), Equra Health and ISIMO – aims to champion the shift from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare to improve the patient experience.