El Salvador holds Technical Meeting on Interprofessional Education in Health

On May 8, 2019, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in El Salvador held the First Technical Meeting on Interprofessional Education in Health.

Deans and representatives of universities and healthcare training institutions from both the national and private sectors, worked collectively with representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) to create strategies for Interprofessional Education (IPE) in health and initiate its implementation to contribute to universal access to health and universal coverage in health.

At the opening of the meeting, Hilda Leal de Molina, the Health Systems and Services Advisor of PAHO / WHO, María Angela Elías, the Director of Human Resources Development of the Ministry of Health, and Wendy Menéndez, the representative of Higher Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education, affirmed the importance of IPE and collaborative practices in health as a strategy to support the transformation of care to achieve universal health.

 The main topics of discussion included; the situation of IPE in the Region of the Americas, by José Rodrigues Freire, an international consultant on IPE at PAHO, a presentation on El Salvador’s IPE plan, by Evelyn Flores de Nieto, the representative of the Ministry of Health, and develop proposals to implement IPE at the national level through working groups.

Since 2009, a Health Reform has been developed which contains important changes, one of the most relevant is Axis 8: Human Resources Development which has given rise to the National Human Resources Policy. Its 2.2 strategy has developed and strengthened mechanisms for coordination and cooperation between educational institutions and health services. 

Since 2017, El Salvador has participated in PAHO / WHO IPE initiatives. Country representatives attended the second regional IPE technical meeting and committed to forming action plans to implement IPE in their health human resources policies.

Results

Working groups created proposals to implement IPE at the undergraduate level, which included:

  • IPE Faculty Development 
  • IPE Procedure Manuals
  • Introduce IPE in universities programs and curriculum.
  • Evaluate IPE initiatives through indicators.
  • Offer courses to students of different disciplines when the institution allows it.
  • Encourage the use of teaching-learning strategies such as problem-based learning or simulated clinical case studies to promote IPE.
  • Hold events on the topic of IPE.

They also agreed to:

  • Continue collaboration efforts with the Education / Health Bureau to address IPE strategies.
  • Continued participation of the same members in the next meetings.
  • Commitment from authorities of each institution to accept IPE strategies.

Finally, the following topics were suggested:

  • Review of the Social Service Regulations for careers to include the IPE approach.
  • Integration of Health and Education Sectors
  • IPE quality improvement measures 

The country continues to make progress in IPE. The next step will be to recognize IPE experiences and encourage all interested parties in the country to complete the virtual course on IPE available in the Virtual Campus of Public Health (CVSP) of PAHO.