1st National Meeting on Interprofessional Education is held in Guatemala

As part of the activities of the national plan for the implementation of interprofessional education in Guatemala, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of the country, together with the national office of the Pan American Health Organization, held the 1st National Meeting on Interprofessional Education on 24 and 25 October 2018.

The event was an important landmark for the discussion of Interprofessional Health Education (IHE) in Guatemala, being the pioneer country in Central America to start the activities of the plan.

The objectives of the meeting on IPE in Guatemala were:

  • present the conceptual and theoretical-methodological aspects of Interprofessional Education (IPE).
  • share experiences of interprofessional education and its impact on improving the quality of health services.
  • present proposals for the application of Interprofessional Education, so that future professionals work as a team.
  • identify opportunities for the development of Interprofessional Education in Guatemala.
  • formulate guidelines for the agenda of activities and propose complementation in the action plan for the development of Interprofessional Education in Guatemala.

The IPE Guatemala plan is product of the second regional technical meeting on IPE held in Brazil in 2017. With this event, the country formalizes the beginning of its activities in the IPE theme, being an important strategy to improve the quality of health services.

The event coordinated by Dr. Luis Felipe Garcia Ruano - from the Interinstitutional Coordination of Education and Health Research, Ministry of Public Health, was attended by several speakers, such as Dr. Alfredo Moreno of the University of San Carlos and representative of the country in the plan of IPE, Dr. Eduardo Tobar - Professor at the University of Chile, Dr. José Rodrigues - International Consultant on Interprofessional Education PAHO / Washington, Dr. Juanjo Beunza - European University of Madrid / Spain, Dr. Caroline Chang, Systems and Services Advisor PAHO / Guatemala, Lic. Elias Garcia, Human Resources Advisor PAHO / Guatemala and Dr. Diego González, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME).

During the event, guests discussed proposals for activities to include the country's IPE plan, such as approving the conceptual framework of the IPE strategy within the framework of the Inter-Institutional Commission of Guatemala, with the incorporation of other actors who may be interested in the topic; implementation of awareness processes for all stakeholders involved in the IPE strategy on the benefits of teamwork, preparation of an agenda of commitments (goals, constitution of technical desks), according to the role of each institution in the country; formulation and implementation of a Pilot Plan for Interprofessional Education that serves as reference model, qualification and certification of IPE facilitators, coordination with accreditation bodies to include IPE as a certification criterion in the training institutions of the country.

Several authorities participated in the event and recognized the timely preparation of a report of the event and use the space of the Inter-Institutional Commission of joint actions between the academy and health sector of Guatemala to disseminate the theme of the IPE. This space counts on the participation of the universities of the country that have a faculty of Health Sciences, representing the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, the Guatemalan Social Security Institute, the Military Medical Center and the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization as technical secretary.