Advances and challenges of Interprofessional Health Education in the region of Americas was the central focus of the 3rd. Regional Technical Meeting of Argentina

On December 6 and 7, 2018, the city of Buenos Aires hosted the Third Technical Meeting on Interprofessional Health Education (IPE): Improving the capacity of human resources to achieve universal health. The event was organized by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), with the collaboration Secretariat of Government of Health of the Argentinian Republic, through its National Directorate of Human Capital, with the support of the Regional Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas (REIP).

The meeting was attended by 15 countries from the Region of the Americas, which took as a basis the Strategy on Human Resources for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage of PAHO / WHO.

Participating countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay presented the activities implemented of their IPE national plans, which were presented to PAHO / WHO in February 2018.

Several countries have advanced in IPE through the realization of the most diverse actions in the field of research, organization of workshops, conferences, congresses, mapping and recognition of IPE experiences, as well as ongoing education initiatives for health professionals. Other countries will begin to develop their activities: Costa Rica, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua and Suriname.

Other sessions were part of the event, such as the presentation of the Strategy on Human Resources for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage: action plan and its focus on interprofessional education;  IPE in Argentina: advances in the subject and its importance for the national policy of human resources in health; IPE as a strategy for the training of students and health professionals through the programs of continuing education.

The participants organized in working groups to discuss and formulate proposals for the inclusion of IPE in faculty development processes and in the strategies of continuing education programs for health professionals.

The Panel Experiences on IPE and Country Action Plans was presented by Argentina - Marcelo García Dieguez - Ministry of Health; Brazil - Claudia Brandão - Ministry of Health (videoconference); Cuba - Natacha Lescaille Elias and Marco del Risco del Rio - Ministry of Health; Chile - Patricio Fernández Pérez - Ministry of Health; Peru - Maria Paola Llosa Isenrich - Ministry of Health; Dominican Republic - Rosa Adelina Céspedes - Ministry of Education and Uruguay - Mercedes Perez - University of the Republic.

To analyze the process of developing of IPE in education and health policies in the Region of the Americas and to present proposals for advancing the theme, a session was conducted by John Gilbert of the University of British Columbia and Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative. For the guests, the session was of great importance, because it allowed to understand concrete experiences in the subject of the IPE.

As a continuation of the event, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Chile and Colombia demonstrated their innovative experiences with the incorporation of IPE in the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the health area and discussed the importance of creating evidence on IPE and as the Region of Americas can invest in this approach.

The workshop - Learning to formulate a discipline using the theoretical and methodological foundations of IPE was conducted by Dr. Eva María Icarán Francisco - European University of Madrid / Spain, who addressed practical actions on how to plan an educational activity using the theoretical and methodological contributions of IPE.

The annual report - 2018 of the Regional Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas (REIP) was presented, demonstrating that the network contributes to the development of the theme in the Region of the Americas, helping to incorporate IPE into the human resources policies. Today there are eighteen countries in the Region of the Americas, one more with the recent inclusion of El Salvador, recognize IPE as an important approach that contributes to health care models, from the perspective of organization of patient-centered care.

Access here the REIP annual report – 2018.

60% of the REIP work plan (2018-2019) have been carried out and it is hoped that REIP will be able to maintain its support for the development of IPE in the Region of the Americas, as well as increase the number of network member countries and continue to be affiliated with the global institutions and bodies working on this issue in order to intensify the commitment of all network members to implement interprofessional education and collaborative practices in health through the sharing of successful experiences, innovations, and generation of new knowledge.

REIP is a member of the Global Confederation for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice.

Chile and Cuba are the proposing countries for the next regional technical meeting of the IPE.

A result of the event, it was established the countries' commitment to invest in IPE and need to carry out actions that promote transformations in human resources for health and that have an impact on health systems.

For the year 2019, the goal is for other PAHO / WHO Member States to invest in EIP as an important strategy to contribute to universal health.