Colombia holds Third National IPE Workshop and recognizes importance of this strategy to ensure right to health

The Third National Workshop on Interprofessional Health Education - IPE was held in Colombia on November 20 and 21, 2019, in the city of Bucaramanga - campus of the University of Santander (UDES). The event, organized by the Group of IPE Leaders in Colombia, is part of the set of activities of IPE National Plan of Action presented to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) in 2018, was attended by 87 representatives of educational institutions and the health sector, who responded to a national call to learn about the progress and challenges of IPE in the country.

The opening of the event was made by Dr. William Reyes Serpa, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Santander, Dr. Luis Gabriel Bernal Pulido, Director of Human Talent Development at the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MSPS) ), José Rodrigues Freire Filho, representative of the Regional Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas - REIP and Larisa Carrero, National University of the Coastal - Argentina, representative of the Academic Network for Interprofessional Education in the Americas, UNIRED - EIP.

Recognition of IPE progress in Colombia

On the first day, Dr. John Francisco Ariza Montoya, Coordinator of the Human Talent Training Group of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, mentioned that Colombia has made progress in its IPE National Action Plan, consolidating different strategies such as reflection and conceptual appropriation of the approach in the health and education sectors through technical meetings, formation of a leading IPE group, annual holding of national IPE workshops, shaping of the UNIRED Academic Network - IPE, identification and systematization of demonstrative experiences in IPE, among others.

According to Dr. Ariza, this process required widespread mobilization throughout the national territory to enhance the intersectoral participation of Ministries of Health and Education, professional associations, social organizations, educational institutions of all levels of education, providers and insurers to recognize satisfactory progress in the development of the exercise of systematization of demonstration experiences on IPE in the country, with the ability to demonstrate the richness of the approach in the country and a way to continue with knowledge management on the subject.

IPE experiences from various institutions in the country

Experiences on IPE were presented from various institutions: Cooperative University of Colombia, Villavicencio headquarters, Sanitas University Foundation - Bogota, National Open and Distance University - UNAD, University of Northern Barranquilla, E.S.E. Rosario Pumarejo Hospital of López de Valledupar, University of Santander, Campus of Valledupar and Bucaramanga, University of Rosario, Pontifical University Javeriana Bogotá, National University of Colombia, University of La Sabana, University of Magdalena, SENA Antioquia, University Antonio Nariño, Cooperative University of Colombia, University of Santiago de Chile and Autonomous University of Bucaramanga.

IPE and the impacts on Colombian public policies

On the second day of the event, participants organized into working groups, whose objective was to generate inputs to enrich decision-making by different actors involved in the health and education sectors, to strengthen the implementation of IPE in different educational and health care settings as well as to deepen its impact on public policies.

The working groups were organized in three priority axes:

  • Axis 1: IPE and curriculum;
  • Axis 2: IPE in the health area;
  •  Axis 3: IPE in the education of health technicians, with specific guiding questions for each axis and two cross-cutting questions for the analysis: “IPE-focused Health and Education Policies” and “Proposals for the construction of the National Network on Intersectoral Interprofessional Education for sustainable collaborative work”

Keep moving forward with IPE in Colombia

Following progress on key issues such as participatory construction of the definition, objectives and strategic and conceptual elements of IPE, as well as systematization of demonstration experiences, Colombia recognizes that it is necessary to undertake intersectoral planning, updating and monitoring actions to follow with effective implementation of IPE as a cross-cutting and articulating strategy for the development of human talent in health and to contribute to the guarantee of the right to health of the entire population. Therefore, should be included in the IPE National Action Plan 2020-2022 new activities, elaborated through new participatory exercises. This event expanded the leadership base for IPE implementation in Colombia and Latin America.


Representatives of the IPE Leader Group in Colombia

  • Edgardo Ortega Ramírez
  • Piedad Serpa Pérez