Uruguay holds first conference on interprofessional health education

On December 3 and 4, 2018, Uruguay held the First Conference on Interprofessional Health Education. The objective of the event was to sensitize teachers, students and professionals in the field of Interprofessional Health Education (IPE), as well as to identify and value experiences of IPE and interprofessional work carried out by the University of the Republic (Udelar), as well as to elaborate new proposals on IPE.

The conference was attended by students, professors and graduates of the Faculty of Nursing and other professions such as: dentistry, nutrition, social sciences, medical technology college, among others. The activity counted on national guests and foreign exhibitors.

The welcome session was composed of Estela Harispe, representative of the State Administration of Health Services (ASSE), Dr. Giovanni Escalante, representative of the Pan American Health Organization PAHO / WHO Uruguay, and the Specialist Mercedes Pérez, of the Faculty of Nursing of the University of the Republic (Udelar).

Dr. Escalante, highlighted the participation of students as key actors in social development in health and stressed the importance of human resources for health, as the "heart of health systems" committed and motivated, being a fundamental part of transforming the health system.

Dr. John Gilbert, Dalhousie University, Canada, Dr. Eva Icarán, European University of Madrid, and José Rodrigues, PAHO Human Consultant were present at the event.

José Rodrigues, PAHO consultant, spoke about the importance of IPE as an educational model and pedagogical strategy, involving students and professionals who "learn together." He affirmed the need to invest in innovative models to improve the quality of health care. Dr. Eva Icarán addressed IPE as "joint activities in which students from different health areas interact and work with key competences for the practice of IPE, such as communication, negotiation and recognition of their role."

Mercedes Perez, also appointed by the Ministry of Health of Uruguay to accompany the theme of IPE in the country, spoke about the project IPE - Uruguay and how she has worked on the creation of a technical group for the development of concrete actions in the theme. The First Interprofessional Health Education Conference integrates the National IPE Plan that Udelar carries out.

More than a hundred people took part in the event and were actively involved in the meeting, and this for Perez "generates a great effort to continue building EIP in Uruguay".

Representing the Interdisciplinary Space of Udelar, Dr. Ana Corbacho presented the experience "interdisciplinarity at the University of the Republic". Dr. Corbacho addressed the diversity of projects such as the Interdisciplinary Higher Education Program (PROESI) for teachers.

The panel entitled "interprofessional work experiences in Uruguay" was attended by Dr. Deborah Grivob representing the APEX program, Dr. Mercedes Bernadá, representing the team of the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit of the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center and Silvia Crosa of the Department of Community Nursing together with the nutritionist Mariana Simonelli, representing the group of interdisciplinary articulation in the First Level of Attention.

At the conference there were several sessions that included work on IPE in Uruguay, opportunities, experiences, future projection and preparation of proposals to use the conceptual and methodological approach of IPE.

The event was organized by the Faculty of Nursing of the University of the Republic, its Interdisciplinary Area, support of the health area of the university, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) and Ministry of Public Health.