The Importance of the Regional Network for Interprofessional Health Education in the Americas from the International Health Perspective

In the context of Interprofessional Health Education (IPE) activities taking place in Argentina, the project “Strategies for strengthening IPE from the international health perspective” was presented at the 2017 meeting of PAHO’s Edmundo Granda Ugalde Leaders in International Health (PLSI) Program.

The initiative was led by Mariana Cavalieri, a member of the Federal Observatory of Human Resources for Health, of Argentina’s Ministry of Health. The purpose of the initiative was to contribute an international health perspective to IPE strategies being carried out in Argentina by PAHO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Based on an analysis of international health capacities, the project approaches innovation in science and technology as an area of opportunity for implementing IPE. At the subregional level, it recognizes the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as important areas for discussing IPE, and for establishing a more collaborative profile for teams of health professionals, based on the community needs.

Locally, the intersectoral work being carried out by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education through a variety of actions – such as the Interministerial Board Linking Health and Education, agreements on the social mission of medical schools, the role of the National University Accreditation and Evaluation Commission (CONEAU), and collaborative research – has been important in developing human resources for health (HRH), and for making space to incorporate IPE in the agenda of the country’s education and health policies.

The study produced recommendations for strengthening IPE in Argentina and in the Region. It emphasizes the importance of reaching a consensus on a regional Human Resources for Health agenda that incorporates the issue of IPE, so that countries can guide their policies and move their health systems toward universal health coverage and establish transformative and interdependent professional education within curricular reforms and at training institutions.

In Argentina, IPE is being developed through disparate initiatives, promoted by various actors in the university training system. The creation of the Regional Network for Interprofessional Health Education in the Americas (REIP) will allow for the exchange of experiences among the countries. With the aid of technological innovations, this will strengthen IPE in Argentina and throughout the Region of the Americas, and, thus, in the education and health systems, thereby improving collaboration between different health and social services professionals.

 

Mariana Cavalieri
Federal Observatory of Human Resources for Health - Ministry of Health of Argentina