Professional training directed toward meeting the country’s needs

Cuba prepares to modify eight health technology courses of study, which some 3000 students are currently pursuing

By Lisandra Fariñas Acosta

How to provide quality training for healthcare professionals, which responds to the needs of the population and the country, was one of the principal topics discussed by participants of the II International Health and Technology Conference.

Acquiring adequate training is one of the daily challenges that professionals face, especially when teaching young students about illnesses which don’t generally affect the Cuban population, but do exist in other parts of the world, explained Dr. Jorge González Pérez, rector of the University of Medical Sciences, to Granma. He also pointed out that despite the difficulty, this has been achieved and is evidenced by the impact of Cuban health workers serving abroad.

Talking about the challenges the system faces in dealing with an aging population, Dr. Pérez pointed out that health and human resource training is well structured and geared towards prevention.

Reaching old age is indicative of Cuba’s quality of life and the population’s good health. However, when there are a large number of elderly people requiring differentiated and personalized care, it creates an overload. “We are talking about a population which will have lower birth rates and at the same time become less productive”.

The demand for services such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation has increased. Now the majority of patients go to rehabilitation centers but there will come a time when we will have to visit patients at home. In this sense – he commented – Cuba has advantages in the primary care system, with Community Clinic doctors, nurses and basic equipment which will play a central role.

The University of Medical Sciences is preparing to tackle all these issues, focusing especially on the eight most popular specializations of Health Technology, in which some 3,000 students are involved.

Addressing the significance of new technology in training future technicians, Dr. Pérez emphasized the university’s desire to provide training software for every course, which the students could use for independent study. “Now all medicine – and some dentistry – courses are completely digitalized. However, for the moment, Technology degrees are not, but new course plans are currently being constructed”.

Dr. Pérez stressed that the University is in line with global trends in higher education. “Our University prioritizes specialized, horizontal training, in real life situations and assisted by experienced tutors. We promote the value of education in students and teachers as facilitators of learning; that is why we must prioritize training for those who will become future teachers.