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Published in: 10/26/2023

RETS launches publication and promotes debate on the relationship between technician training and the strengthening of national health systems

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In March of this year, the Ministers of Health of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) approved the latest version of the Strategic Plan for Cooperation in Health (PECS 2023-2027), which highlights six axes of intervention to be prioritized so that the countries of the Community can, in a coordinated and cooperative manner, continue to implement policies and strategies aimed at consolidating sustainable development, good governance of their national health systems and global health.

In September, the Governing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) endorsed the Policy on the Health Workforce for 2030: strengthening human resources for health to achieve resilient health systems (Document CD60/6), which proposes five strategic lines of action for strengthening human resources for health (HRH) and building stronger and more resilient health systems, capable of recovering the public health achievements affected by the pandemic and getting back on track towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Subject to their peculiarities, both documents emphasize the need to strengthen national health systems to achieve the SDGs and to prepare these systems to deal with new health emergencies. Another aspect common to both is the recognition that the adequate training of human resources for the sector and the improvement of their working conditions, as well as the centrality of Primary Health Care (PHC) in this process, are fundamental.. 

Careful reading of the texts also led us to confirm the importance of the cycles of workshops held in 2021 and 2022 by the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic School of Health (EPSJV/Fiocruz), the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for the Education of Health Technicians, in partnership with the International Network for the Education of Health Technicians (RETS) and its sub-networks: the Network of Health Technical Schools of the CPLP (RETS-CPLP) and the Ibero-American Network for the Education of Health Technicians (RIETS). In the eight workshops held, with the support of PAHO's Subregional Program for South America and Fiocruz's Center for International Relations in Health, topics directly or indirectly considered relevant by the documents in question were discussed, with emphasis on: PHC, the use of technologies in training actions, mental health, interculturality in health and the improvement of health information systems and HRH.

This observation served as the basis for the proposal for this event, which brings back a little of our recent past, makes us reflect on the present and points to some possibilities for future work within the Networks. In this sense, our meeting will consist of three different moments.

The first will be the official launch of the electronic publication The training and work of health technicians in the post-Covid world: synthesis and recommendations, the aim of which is to give perpetuity to the knowledge and experiences transmitted and shared by our guests and the public who were with us at the four workshops held in 2022.

This will be followed by a panel made up of Eduardo Benjamín Puertas, head of the Human Resources for Health unit at PAHO/WHO, and Manuel Clarote Lapão, director of Cooperation at the CPLP. The idea is for them to present the main points of the approved documents, drawing a parallel between them, the training and work of health technicians and the construction of well-structured National Health Systems with greater capacity to respond to and recover from health crises.

To conclude the event, there will be a brief presentation of two strategic projects that represent the effort to coordinate the networks (RIETS, RETS and RETS-CPLP) in order to qualify interventions in the field of health technician training: the Mapping of technical workers working in PHC in South American countries, drawn up to respond to an internal call for proposals from EPSJV/Fiocruz and approved in mid-June, and the Seminar / Workshop on Clinical Simulation in the Training of Health Technicians: challenges and perspectives, presented  to  the  Ibero-American General Secretariat (Segib) as part of the 1st Call for Projects for Networks entered in the Register of Ibero-American Networks. The project was approved in July, reinforcing the decision, expressed in the III Quadrennial Action Plan for Ibero-American Cooperation 2023-2026, to incorporate health as a new field of action, including articulation and coordination with the different initiatives in this field in the region.

It is important to note that both projects, which initially involve a few countries due to the respective calls for proposals, may be extended to others, with the effective participation of the members of the networks to validate the instruments and make the necessary adjustments.

RETS' Virtual Meeting "Strengthening the training and work of health technicians is strengthening national health systems: the perspectives of PAHO/WHO and CPLP"

Date: 2023/11/07 (tuesday)

Time: from 9:30am to 12:00pm (Brasília time)

Transmision in Portuguese:

Transmision in Spanish: