Dear IFHE and NVTG members,

We have had a great congress on hospital engineering on 18 and 19 April 2016 in the World Forum in The Hague. We have realized our dream of, as the Dutch association of technology in healthcare (the NVTG), organizing the twenty-fourth congress of the International Federation of Hospital Engineering, (the IFHE) in 2016. It was an honor to welcome our international colleagues in The Hague in The Netherlands, because we had clear ideas as to how to share knowledge for better healthcare worldwide. Last week the congress took place and it were the attendees who made it a fantastic event.

We were all together with 930 participants from 37 different countries and we have seen 120 business partners at the exhibition stands and 35 key-note speakers from 12 different countries.
The 25 key-note speakers were key in delivering the participants a relevant state of the art program of high quality key-note presentations with very interesting subjects that gave us new insights and new ideas, or that confirmed the benchmark that the existing ideas were still excellent and highly relevant for the future. We learned to put our daily work in an international perspective, we learned from cultural differences and we were able to share our networks and knowledge worldwide.

After four years of preparation and great appreciation for the huge but beautiful task of the conference committee the convention week began, for some of us, on Friday April 15th when we were able to welcome the board members of the IFHE. The IFHE has a (global) central board called The Council and an executive committee called The Exco. Furthermore each continent has a regional board. On Saturday, the World-Exco, EU-Exco, America-Exco and EU-Council held their meetings. The highlight was definitely the meeting within the IFHE, the World Council on Sunday. As many as 63 council members from 27 different countries have attended the meeting. This was the highest number ever and may therefore rightly be called a world record.

The aim of the congress was to share the importance of improving the quality of healthcare worldwide together. How can we use our advanced technical knowledge in those parts of the world where the healthcare is far below par or even missing. To do so, the IFHE cooperates with the WHO, but it also reflects on energy consumption, global warming and the environment. Congruent with the WHO, the IFHE believes that in the global context and along with patient safety, environmental sustainability in Healthcare Facilities Management is the most significant issue that needs to be promoted. The IFHE organizes programs and projects around the world to improve this.

We discovered and confirmed these days that we share the same values! We are all professionals in healthcare engineering ! Each of you attributes to the complex and challenging social task to deliver high quality healthcare. Some of us work for the government or for universities and research institutes, some of us work in hospitals or in care facilities, some of us work as designers, as engineers, as contractors, as builders or as component suppliers. We share the same dream to be connected to a worldwide network that will keep us up to date about our expertise and experiences. In our hearts we feel connected. Via this letter we would like to thank the participants for visiting the congress.

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of IFHE, NVTG and the NVTG congress committee
Douwe Kiestra (President of IFHE and NVTG),

April 23, 2016

For any questions or correspondence about this letter please send an email to our secretary.