Public Health Ministry to enhance health education curricula in Guyana

 ─ adopting Inter-Professional Education and Collaborative Practice

─ Improving staff competency, maximising potential

 DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 14, 2019

 As it works to attain universal health care, the Ministry of Public Health is enhancing the competency of its workforce through Inter-Professional Education (IPE) and Collaborative Practice.

A national consultation is being held to engage health education and other professionals from around the country on this initiative. Today’s meeting, held at the conference room of the Grand Coastal Inn saw Health Education tutors from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Guyana (UG) and the Ministry of Public Health Division of Health Sciences, among others, discussing the facilitation of the project.

In her remarks at the event, Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence said that Inter-professional Education for health is one which can surely advance Guyana’s healthcare sector by raising the bar in healthcare service delivery through collaboration with all sectors.

Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence.

“This model approach underscores the fact that health is a multidimensional discipline. It has the potential for greater development and improved health outcomes. With inputs from all the other health professional entities, it emphasises further that health is not restrictive in structure, but can be extended to accommodate essential resources from other disciplines; thereby assisting to raise the quality of patient care in Guyana.”

She added that social determinants of health are becoming a major issue in addressing patients’ cases and noted that the health sector alone cannot produce a holistically healthy person. For example, some person’s adverse health conditions will be as a result of a domestic matter that is being endured for a prolonged period.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Inter-Professional Education occurs when two or more professionals learn about, from or with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes. Collaborative Practices in health care speaks of multiple healthcare workers from varying professional backgrounds, providing comprehensive services by working patients and their families.

This particular project targets mainly those who are preparing to enter the public health workforce by first gaining the basic knowledge of the health system and general healthcare.

PAHO/WHO’s Advisor on Health Systems and Services, Dr. Paul Edwards.

PAHO/WHO’s Advisor on Health Systems and Services, Dr. Paul Edwards said this project will prove to be important in pulling together and effectively addressing a complex healthcare system. “Once students learn how to work inter-professionally, they are ready to enter the workforce as a member of the collaborative team practice. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength. Inter-professional health care teams understand how to optimise the skills of their members, share case management and provide better health service to patients and the community.”

The proposed Inter-Professional Education (IPE) and Collaborative Practice research project in Guyana, which is to be multi-institutional, is key to the development of the IPE curricula. This is to be done by the ministry’s Division of Health Sciences. Key stakeholders to this project include the University of Guyana’s (UG) faculty of medical sciences.

International Consultants, Dr. Jose Rodrigues Freire Filho of PAHO/WHO’s Human Resources Health Unit in Washington DC., and Dr. John Gilbert, Professor of the University of British Colombia and founding Chairperson of the Canadian Inter-Professional Health Collaborative Practice will be involved.

This workshop also saw attendance from the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of UG, Dr. Emmanuel Cummings and Director of the Ministry of Public Health’s Health Sciences Education Programme, Seraiah Validum.

Some of the participants who were engaged in the workshop.

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