Dear Colleagues,

It is indeed a great pleasure to welcome you to Antalya and to the 5th Joint EFLM-UEMS Congress. This is the 5th in a series of conferences organised biannually by EFLM and UEMS. Previous conferences were organised in Lisbon, Dubrovnik, Liverpool and Warsaw. Why are we organising these conferences and do these conferences add new information that cannot be obtained in all the other conferences? The answer is included in the subtitle of the conference – “Laboratory medicine at the clinical interface”. As professionals working in laboratory medicine, we must move out of the laboratory and we must prioritize a stronger interaction with clinicians and patients. How can this be done and what is the unmet needs of the clinicians and patients? If we do not interact, we will not know. Errors in medicine often occur in the borderline between different disciplines since responsibilities are less clearly defined here. Related to the laboratory, this especially occur in the pre pre- and post post examination phases. Indeed we have to show and to underline the value of laboratory medicine in clinical practice, and to underline the increased risks when laboratory medicine is not run under good conditions. These are the reasons that we need the EFLM-UEMS conferences.

So – what is your task when you are in Antalya: To learn, to be inspired, to start- and to facilitate cooperation, to meet old friends and to get new friends and to be part of an international network in laboratory medicine. EFLM, the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine welcomes especially its 40 member societies, representing more than 22 000 specialists in laboratory medicine, to this event. EFLM wants to stimulate the scientific, regulatory, professional and clinical aspects of laboratory medicine in Europe. I do look forward to seeing you during the conference.

President of EFLM (17 March 2016 to 31 December 2017)