The Austrian Neurology Society was founded in 2000 and views itself as both a scientific organisation and as a service organisation for Austrian neurologists. Our society has developed rapidly and now has more than 760 members.
This success is due not only to the active endeavours of the nine member board, but also to the tireless work of past presidents.
It is important to me that we view the ANS as a society, as a platform and as a promotion tool for all neurologists, regardless of whether they are active as heads of department, in teaching and research, in the university, as non-professional teaching staff outside the university area, as specialists in private practise, or are in training.
Some aspects of our society’s activities must be given special mention: we continue to work vigorously, through information brochures, through the media and in press conferences, to make our profession known to the general public, and to encourage timely visits to a practising neurologist, outpatient service or hospital. Thus a section of our homepage is dedicated especially to providing information to the layman.
It should also be mentioned that previous ANS information publications have now been replaced by the journal “neurologisch”. With circulation of 7900, the journal reaches a broad reading public, and under the editorship of Assistant Prof. Dr. Regina Katzenschlager and Prof. Dr. Bruno Mamoli offers neurological knowledge in a lively fashion, current information and also policy discussions as regards our profession
Another important concern of the society is to act as a medium to communicate knowledge and new advances within our specialist area, by offering and supporting high quality training and continuing education. Thus, as well as continuing education seminars for specialists, the ANS also continues to conduct academies. Academies for multiple sclerosis, pain, neuorimaging and neuro-rehabilitation have been established meanwhile, and an academy for neurologists acting as expert court witnesses is also in planning. Together with the Austrian Society for Neurorehabilitation, a curriculum for neurorehabilitation has been developed. To ensure the cost of Botulinumtoxin treatments when neurologically indicated, in the intra- and extramural areas, is met in a regulated and secure fashion, a Botulinumtoxin certification course has been created in cooperation with the Austrian Dystonia and Botulinum Toxin Working Group and the Austrian Physical Society. Special emphasis in these activities, in general, is put on creating synergies with associated societies and specialist medical branches.
The successful planning and future-oriented development of ANS activities is only possible through discussion and lively exchange of ideas. Events such as the platform for neurologists in private practise, the forum for hospital chief physicians, the bi-annual industry roundtable and especially the annual conference of the society are occasions to meet and exchange views.
The members of the board also meet once a year with representatives from the Main Association of Social Insurance Funds, to discuss and solve problems in the cost refund catalogue as regards medications relevant to neurology. Significant improvements in patient care have been achieved through this open dialogue; this discussion will be intensively pursued.
The Austrian Neurological Society also sees itself, naturally, as a service centre for all Austria ‘s neurologists. It is the goal of the ANS to be accessible to the needs of members and to respond in a prompt, informative and up-to-date fashion. We hope to meet these tasks through an efficient secretariat, via our homepage and the journal “neurologisch”, and feedback and innovative ideas from our members is essential. Thus I welcome your cooperation in the form of criticism and suggestions.
We can only meet the challenges of the future together, particularly in times as turbulent as these. And so the board of the Austrian Neurological Society requests your further active support in the effort to strengthen the specialist area of neurology, in all its facets, in Austria . Our daily work with patients, in research and teaching, further education and training, policy discussion and public relations is a collective and indivisible network, to ensure the quality of care of patients with neurological problems and diseases is based not on purely economic but on medical principles.
Dr. Michael Ackerl