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  Message from the SFCNS President 2015  

Dear SFCNS delegates, dear colleagues


SFCNS started in 2009 with the vision to strengthen the clinical neurosciences in Switzerland. In the meantime, the Federation grew continuously and represents currently 14 member societies participating and collaborating actively in the common effort to enhance the overall impact of our disciplines at the medical, scientific, public and political levels.

Our projects consider and promote the common interests of our societies and thereby prevent fragmentation of the neurodisciplines. Even more: being a strong force, we stimulate interdisciplinarity and innovation in the challenging field of clinical neuroscience. The clinical aspects of the neurosciences have a strong and growing impact on the society. Important aims of the SFCNS are to create awareness, to be a strategic partner of political and health system stakeholders and to collaborate with the Swiss Society for Neurosciences in the rapidly expanding field of translational medicine.

In 2014 the SFCNS mainly focused its activities on 2 strategic projects:

  • Establishing certification procedures for clinical neuroscience centers for quality assurance in the context of the federal project on highly specialized medicine (HSM)
  • Providing support to the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology (SGNR) in its effort to obtain specialty recognition

Long-term goal of both initiatives is to strengthen the clinical neurodisciplines and to enhance excellence and attractiveness. But, this goal is challenging.

The elaboration of the certification guidelines and criteria for the various areas of HSM generated many questions leading to complex discussions. But this is exactly what we need. Working groups, composed of delegates from all concerned neurodisciplines, mobilised much effort to integrate all interests and to define the excellence criteria for future centers. The success is visible:


Regarding the certification of HSM centers:

  • 9 Stroke Centers and 13 Stroke Units have been certified. Currently the first re-certifications are under preparation
  • 5 centers applied for certification as HSM centers for ‘Deep Brain Stimulation’
  • 9 centers applied for certification as HSM centers for ‘Epilepsy Surgery’
  • The certification criteria for the treatment of ‘Vascular Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology’ as well as for ‘Rare Spinal Cord Tumours’ have been elaborated; the certification processes did not yet start.

Regarding the speciality title for Neuroradiology:
SFCNS and several Swiss medical societies have submitted a letter of support to the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology. The elaborated comprehensive training programme for neuroradiology is completely in line with the SFCNS’ goals of interdisciplinary collaboration. The Swiss Society of Neuroradiology is now starting final negotiations with the authorities.

I hereby would like to thank all colleagues for their valuable effort and also for their time spent in the various working groups. We all know that time is our limiting factor these days.

Nevertheless, new public and political topics and initiatives require that the SFCNS takes position. One major topic is the international initiative ‚Choosing wisely’, and the corresponding Swiss initiative ‚Smarter Medicine‘. Many procedures that are under discussion also concern neurological disorders, especially in the elderly population. Which ethical questions will arise in future due to the elderly population with neurological diseases? I hereby would like to invite you to start the discussion on a possible active role of the SFCNS for ‚Smarter Medicine’.

But beside strategic activities we should also offer up-to-date training to our young colleagues such as SFCNS Summer Schools e.g. on interdisciplinary collaboration in neuroscience centers. Such educational programs would complement our strategic work and support our long-term goals. We might also enhance the SFCNS visibility by providing the patronage for training courses offered by our member societies.

Dear SFCNS delegates, I am looking forward to an interesting General Assembly on September 10, 2015 and many fruitful discussions.

The General Assembly’s Agenda will be sent to you in due time, all related documents are available on the SFCNS website / members area.

With my best regards


Prof. Anton Valavanis