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Dear colleague,

It is an honour for me to take over from Didier Ledoux as the new SIZ president. On behalf of the SIZ board I thank Didier for all the work has done in the past year and hope that he will be around to assist me when necessary.

At the last Annual Meeting we had to say goodbye to Alexander Wilmer, who left the board after his year as Past-president. We will surely miss Alexander and thank him for his commitment to the society. At the meeting Greet Hermans from Leuven was elected as new board member. Congratulations and welcome!
We also discussed a number of proposed changes that will be voted at the next general assembly, for which you will be invited shortly. This will allow the society to work more efficiently – we will keep you updated on the decision if you cannot attend.

Although the SIZ needs to maintain its role as a scientific society, this should not necessarily limit itself to organising meetings. We have many top-notch scientific researchers in our country but so far large-scale collaborative research is lacking. Given the level of clinical care provided to our patients, the geography of our country and the availability of the SIZ as a platform, to facilitate this, we should seize the opportunity and start a Belgian collaborative research initiative. As the pressure to reduce costs is increasing, we need to take our responsibility and question what we do now, critically evaluate new treatments and as well as perform basic research in our field. This will not only benefit our patients but also increase the authority of this society in other discussions.

No doubt there will be fundamental changes in the way ICU care is organised and reimbursed. We need to question whether our current training programs for critical care medicine are still up to date. Although this society has rarely been involved in this, I feel we should play a more prominent role in the future, but always from a scientific perspective, not based on a political or financial motivation.

It is clear that there are many challenges ahead and it is time that this society gets out of its comfort zone and starts playing a prime role in these fields. I am sure the discussion will be interesting and we will keep our members up to date on a regular basis. But we need your input, your ideas and your involvement to achieve this.

I look forward to serving as president - please do not hesitate to contact me or a board member to give us your thoughts.

Jan De Waele

SIZ President