Welcome letter

Dear fellow Gastroenterologists,

The Committee of the Czech Gastroenterology Association, a member of the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně, took a decision to organise the 6th CGA Congress in Ostrava from 30th November to 2nd December 2017. The capital of the Moravian-Silesian region will be the third Moravian city after Brno and Olomouc and the first Silesian city to host this Congress.

Ostrava is the centre of a densely populated urban area with a rich industrial history. In the interwar period, during the so called First Republic, it was often referred to as the “Republic´s Black Heart”. Nowadays Ostrava is also a modern centre of education not only in traditional technical and engineering studies but also in humanities including medicine. There is the youngest Faculty of Medicine in the Czech Republic.

The congress venue will be the Clarion Congress Hotel in Ostrava. It is located next to the athletics stadium in Ostrava-Vítkovice. The venue is a modern congress centre for 1600 people provided with the necessary conference infrastructure. It is easily accessible from all parts of Ostrava and it has many parking spaces.

As usual, the National Congress programme is a result of the organisers´ team work - members of the CGS Committee and the local organising committee. The programme structure, which has evolved over the years, has been proven and the general opinion is that there is no need for significant changes. However, every congress has its own unique atmosphere. As the Congress President, I will, to a great extent, support programme autonomy in each section and working group. Our aim is to attract as many free speeches as possible thus distinguish the national congress from increasingly post-graduate focussed events held in Karlovy Vary. Time will also be allocated to the topic of nursing in gastroenterology. I am sure that the programme will address everyone involved in gastroenterology.

The cherry on the top of every congress is the foreign participants. The same applies to the Ostrava event. To date the leading speakers from Italy, Sweden and Belgium promised their participation and we keep inviting many others. We will also invite gastroenterologists of Czech and Slovak origins who have made big achievements abroad. We will be more than happy to welcome to the Congress our colleagues and friends from Slovakia for whom Ostrava is only a short journey away. A jewel in the crown will be the presence of several gastroenterologists from Benin whose professional association has a twinning agreement with ours.

The Congress will also provide an opportunity for networking and learning more about the city and the region. The area of Dolní Vítkovice is quite unique. It is an important cultural heritage site with original industrial buildings. Its current look bears the signature of an exquisite architect Pleskot and the project was possible thanks to private funds of Mr Světlík. At the moment it is the second most visited heritage site in the Czech Republic and I believe that even gastroenterologists will be able to appreciate its industrial charm. By the way, the ceiling of the former gas holder converted into a concert hall called Gong with a capacity of 5 500 people is the centrepiece of our congress logo. The social evening will be in the Gong Concert Hall.

Not far from Ostrava there are several picturesque towns for example Štramberk, and beautiful mountains of Beskydy. Tourists often visit Hukvaldy where the composer Leoš Janáček was born and spent his life. They also visit Příbor where there is a house in which Siegmund Freud was born. Another very popular tourist destination is the Tatra Automobile Museum at Kopřivnice. And I should not forget to mention Frýdek-Místek, a town where I live with my family.

The Congress has already attracted the attention of many sponsors; without their support it would not be possible to organise an event of such scale and quality. It is supported by Ostrava University and its President, hepatologist professor MUDr. Jan Lata, CSc. took the patronage over the Congress.

I am greatly honoured that I was entrusted with the co-ordination of the most important national gastroenterological event in 2017. I believe that the Congress in Ostrava will follow on the long tradition of successful gastroenterological congresses and on behalf of the organising committee let me most cordially invite you to Ostrava.

Yours Sincerely

MUDr. Ondřej Urban, Ph.D.
President of the 6th CGS Congress