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The Council announced live-streaming of the conference the day before it was held on 27 October, after registration had closed on 24 October. The Council ran an early registration deal of €119 and this increased to €145 in late September.
The day prior to the conference, it sent a notice that due to “popular demand”, those unable to attend could view the Dublin event live online for free.
“For technical reasons, the live streaming of the event was only confirmed on Monday, 24 October. As soon as it was feasible, on the morning of Wednesday, 26 October, we announced that we would be live-streaming the event,” a Council spokesperson informed the Medical Independent (MI).
The Council decided to live-stream the conference after receiving a “number of enquiries” from health professionals and others who could not attend, said its spokesperson.
“We will always try to [live-stream] if the venue allows for it, but it is of course a different experience to being present, as one cannot interact with other attendees and/or speakers or participate in the workshops.
“As well as this, our objective when holding events and conferences is always to make them as accessible as possible and as the core theme of the conference was in line with the primary objective of the Medical Council, enhancing the culture of patient safety, we believed it would be beneficial to reach as wide an audience as possible.”
Around 300 people attended the conference. Speakers included Colonel Eileen Collins, the first woman to pilot and command an American spacecraft; and Dr Kevin Stewart, Director of the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit at the Royal College of Physicians, London, who spoke on ‘Leading in a Crisis: The Power of Transparency’.
MI asked the Council about the costs of the conference, including speaker fees, accommodation and travel, and how much was raised through registration fees. The Council’s spokesperson responded: “We do not have all of this information at present and as part of our commitment to transparency in reporting, this information will be in our annual report next year.”