EFHSS is pleased to hear that the negotiations with 10 candidate-countries for EU membership, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia, have been concluded. The way is open now for their integration in 2004. We want to congratulate them and extend a warm welcome to our new colleagues. We expect Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey to follow them soon.
EFHSS hopes it can contribute to their integration and trusts that the sterilization associations of these countries will join the forum. We certainly should not forget that we member countries that form the actual EU are an involved party. We cannot not shirk our responsibilities here as implementing the norms and directives about sterilization into the practical functioning of the CSSD will not necsessarily be immediately evident to the newcomers. For this reason we have to start up a dialogue with them, share our knowledge and our experience and support them where and when ever possible.
Very often a lack of financial means - this is not only the case for the candidate countries - will act as a brake on the development of and within the CSSD. But I would like to stress here that quality is not so much a question of money but of motivation and commitment. Simple measures such as the introduction of procedures which guarantee reproducibility, the application of zoning, the setting up of an optimal routing, the regular and effective controlling of the sterilization processes and the introduction of traceability procedures etc can already lead to substantial improvements. Through these measures a platform can be created for sustainable development in the CSSD, which can accommodate know-how, quality, economics and even environmental concerns. This almost individual approach should allow every CSSD, taking into account the means at its disposal, to develop and to grow. We wish everyone a lot of success in the realization of these objectives.