On the 31st of January and the 1st of February 2019, we had the Modernet meeting in Košice. On the meeting page, you can find some information on the program, the participants, some pictures, and a growing number of presentations. Our local organizer Marek Varga and his co-workers did a very good job organizing this meeting in a city you might not visit on a touristic trip soon.

The MODERNET meeting was held in Košice, Slovak Republic on 31 January 2019 – 1 February 2019. This event was twelve in a row, after destinations such as Amsterdam, Manchester, Leuven, Rome, Bucharest, Paris, Zaragoza, Bologna, Lodi, Edinburgh, Dublin, and Košice joined the cities that welcomed the MODERNET community of occupational physicians, hygienists, toxicologists, and scientific workers in the field of occupational health. The event was organized by the Department of Occupational Medicine and Clinical Toxicology of Medical Faculty University P.J. Šafarik and the University Hospital L. Pasteur in Košice, Slovak Society of Occupational Medicine of the Slovak Medical Association and non-profit organization EDUMED.

Thursday 31-1-19

During the two-day meeting were presented 15 lectures, as well as was took place the MODERNET Annual Meeting and, finally, was held a discussion on co-operation during a work-related musculoskeletal disorder campaign of EÚ.

The meeting began the introductory speeches of the members of the honorary chairman, where were the vice-rector of UPJŠ, prof. Pavol Jarčuška, MD. PhD. and the chairman of MODERNET Lode Godderis, MD. PhD., whose opened the meeting.

The program was divided into the following four panels: 1. MIND, 2. CANCER and WORK, 3. SYSTEMATIC APPROACH a 4. BODY.


In the block of lectures focusing on burnout syndrome, they have seen scientific work on the trends of burnout and mental illness related to work in France. Part of the block was a presentation on the biomarker of burnout. Follow up, there was a lecture on psychological correlates of burnout in helping professions from a psychologist’s point of view. At the conclusion of the block, there was presented a lecture on the risk factors of burnout between healthcare workers. In the presented speech, the relationship between burnout syndrome and social support, empathy and psychological safety of work in health nurses was studied. An important finding was the seizure of prodromal stages of burnout syndrome, especially among physicians in state organizations. The presentation and discussion revealed the need for expert analysis and harmonization of methodologies for the diagnosis of sy. burning in the EU Member States. The burnout syndrome is currently reported as an occupational disease in several EU countries, but no case has yet been reported in Slovakia.

Cancer and work

In the section dealing with occupational cancers with chemical carcinogens in the working environment, the results of an epidemiological study of cobalt exposure and incidence of cancer in workers in Finland were presented in the first lecture. German authors presented the issue of epidemiological assessment of exposure and biological response to exposure to crystalline silica and the risk of silicosis and lung cancer. In the following post, the French authors pointed out that when assessing occupational exposure to carcinogens, into account must also be taken the gender of workers. Within the section, also lectured on the development of a strategy for the prevention of oncological diseases as a result of exposure to occupational carcinogens, while presenting the results achieved so far. In the final paper the authors dealt with the issue of reported occupational cancer in the Slovak Republic and drew attention to the insufficient detection and reporting of these diseases.

Systematic approach

In the next block of lectures, the authors presented their experiences with a systematic approach to assessing the work-related musculoskeletal diseases – shoulders, knees and back pain, focusing on exposure criteria. There were presented the Dutch recommendations. Followed work was devoted to the use of epidemiological data, based on meta-analyzes, in assessing the risk of exposure to biological factors in non-health workers. At the end of the section, a group of Belgian authors have pointed out that warning systems for potential workers’ risk exposures, which are an integral part of the future of occupational medicine and health care for workers.

At the end of first day was held General Assembly of the MODERNET with a discussion on the MODERNET membership base, the current financial situation of the organization, the next MODERNET meeting. The next event will take place at the term February or March 2020 in Germany, after being specified by the local organizers in Berlin or Dresden.

As part of the social program, the participants took part in a sightseeing tour of the historical part of Kosice with a professional interpretation of the famous tourist guide Milan Kolcun.

Friday 1-2-19

In the first lecture of the second day of the meeting, the impact of musculoskeletal OD´s at the national level in the Netherlands was presented. The following lecture focused on doagnostic procedures of wrist diseases, especially carpal tunnel syndrome. The results of the latest study on Dupuytren’s disease have shown the current issue of disease classification under Item 28 of the List of Occupational Diseases – Vibration Disease in the Slovak Republic.

Future collaboration

The last block discussed the possibilities for future cooperation in connection with the European Commission’s efforts in the field of musculoskeletal disorders and the creation of a consortium for co-operation under the EU Horizon 2020 framework program or the forthcoming EU Horizon – Europe framework programs. The discussion also attended representatives of P.J. Šafarik University from the European Co-operation Unit and explained to the participants the process of making calls under the Framework Program and the procedures related to the submission of individual projects and the evaluation scheme.

Workplace visit

After the lunch and the official end of the program, the conference participants have attended visit of the Department of Occupational Medicine and Clinical Toxicology of the Medical Faculty University P.J. Šafarik and the University Hospital L. Pasteur in Košice. They had the opportunity to see workplaces of the clinic: the bed department, the outpatients´ department, the laboratories (the toxicological laboratory, the spirometry lab and the diagnostics laboratory in the occupational medicine) as well as the occupational health service. At the same time, the participants were able to look into the other building premises (rehabilitation for hospitalized patients, X-ray, electromyography). Finally, we talked about the system of occupational health in the Slovak Republic.

Marek Varga, Local Organizer of the meeting