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RETS-UNASUR

Updated: 12/05/2014
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The Network of Health Technical Schools of the Union of South American Nations (RETS-UNASUR) was established in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in December 2009 during the 2nd General Meeting of RETS. Its origin, however, is intrinsically related to the history of the South American Health Council (also called Health-UNASUR) and the South American Health Agenda established in December 2008.

In April 2009, Technical Groups (TGs) were created during the 1st Ordinary Meeting of the South American Health Council, held in Santiago, Chile, to be responsible for the viability of the five major objectives of the Agenda: (1) establishing the South American epidemiological
shield; (2) developing universal and equitable health systems; (3) providing universal access to medicines and other health supplies; (4) promoting health and jointly tackling its social determinants; and (5) strengthening the training and management of human resources for health.

The creation of networks of institutions structuring national health systems was considered one of the priorities within the WG for the Development and Management of Human Resources for Health and is expressed in Resolution Nº 07/09 of the 3rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held in November 2009 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

A month later, during the 2nd Meeting of the RETS, representatives from the Ministries of Health and health technicians training institutions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay, as well as the area of Human Resources of some national PAHO/WHO offices, signed the charter of the Network of Health Technical Schools of UNASUR (RETS-UNASUR).

At the time, during the first meeting of the new Network, the Work Plan for the period 2010 to 2013 was approved and the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic Health School (EPSJV/FIOCRUZ) was chosen as the manager institution and the host of the Network’s Executive Secretariat for that same period. The creation of RETS-UNASUR was formalized at the 2nd Ordinary Meeting of UNASUR-HEALTH, held in Cuenca, Ecuador, on April 29th and 30th, 2010.

Designed as a sub-network of the RETS, RETS-UNASUR is composed of government agencies responsible for the formulation of health technicians training policies and education institutions conducting training programs for the training of health technical workers indicated by the Ministries of Health of the Member States of UNASUR. Their general purpose is “to strengthen the field of health technicians training in countries members of UNASUR through the exchange of experiences and development of technical cooperation, in order to increase and improve teaching, research and technological development activities, leading to the improvement of national health systems and their adaptation to the needs of
their populations and regional integration”.

The 2nd Regular Meeting of RETS-UNASUR was held in Recife, Brazil, on November 8, 2013. At the time, network members discussed and approved the Regulation of the network and the Work Plan Plan of Work for the biennium 2014-2105.

UNASUR-HEALTH: A strategic Council

Expressed initially in the Cuzco Declaration signed in December 2004, during the Third Meeting of South American Presidents, the idea of creating the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was only implemented in May 2008, in Brasilia, Brazil during a meeting of Heads of State and Government. According to its constituent treaty, UNASUR’s objective is to “build in a participatory and consensual manner a cultural, social, economic and political space of integration and union among their peoples, prioritizing political dialogue, social policies, education, energy, infrastructure, financing and environment, among others, with a view to eliminating socioeconomic inequality, achieving social inclusion and citizen participation, strengthening democracy and reducing asymmetries within the framework of strengthening the sovereignty and independence of States”.

Besides economic integration, the UNASUR project, which gathers 12 independent nations of South America – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela – provides for the adoption of joint measures for different sectors, among which are defense and health. Accordingly, in December 2008, the South American Defense Council and the South American Health Council  were created and composed by the 12 ministers from each field. At the same time, members of the Heads of State and Government Council set the South American Health Agenda, to be detailed at the first meeting of Health Council and implemented over the next three years.

Projects and cooperation activities

  • The "Mercosul Project"
  • "Plan de Mejora" (Argentina)

Reference Documents

News

  • 04/24/2018
    Half of the nations belonging to Unasur, a South American bloc set up a decade ago to counter U.S. sway in the region, have decided to suspend their membership, a Brazilian official told Reuters on Friday. The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay believe the bloc has been rudderless under the current rotating presidency of Bolivia, according to a statement sent to Brazilian ministers, seen by Reuters. Bolivia’s Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni said the six were only pressuring for a quick turnover in presidency and stressed they were not abandoning Unasur. Bolivia will call an emergency meeting to solve disputes in the bloc, Huanacuni added in an interview with state media.
  • 04/14/2018
    From April 21-28, 2018, the Region of the Americas will celebrate the 16th Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA) campaign with a soccer theme in honor of the 2018 World Cup. The campaign slogan “Strengthen your defense! #GetVax #VaccinesWork” links strengthening defense on the soccer team with strengthening the body’s defense to vaccine-preventable diseases through vaccination.
  • 04/09/2018
    On the eve of World Health Day, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne, and former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet today called for collective actions to ensure that all people, everywhere have access to the health services they need. In the Americas region, one third of the population faces obstacles to accessing health. "Health is a right, and as such we must overcome barriers to have access to care," said Etienne, noting that out-of-pocket payment that many people must make to obtain health services "constitutes the main barrier and pushes families towards poverty."
  • 04/09/2018
     The World Health Organization was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health. “Health for all” has therefore been our guiding vision for more than seven decades. It’s also the impetus behind the current organization-wide drive to support countries in moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Experience has illustrated, time and again, that Universal Health Coverage is achieved when political will is strong. So in this 70th anniversary year, WHO is calling on world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people. This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship. The Organization will maintain a high-profile focus on UHC via a series of events through 2018, starting on World Health Day on 7 April with global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all. 

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