These workers lack adequate knowledge due to learning via Internet tutorials
Leer en Español: Venezuela: el problema con los médicos comunitarios integrales
Due to the financial crisis in Venezuela, many Venezuelans decided to migrate to countries like Colombia, Peru, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, and the USA. Many of them are professionals in the fields of Engineering, Law, Architecture, Business Administration, as well as Medicine.
Venezuelan Medical Federation assured that at least 16.000 doctors have migrated from Venezuela.
This diaspora of professionals caused a lack of workers within the Bolivarian country. This is why, since the Chavez administration, the Government decided to create the Communitarian Integral Medics program. The project seeked to give a viable option to those students that wished to learn medicine, but weren’t accepted into traditional universities.
However, these doctors have been severely criticized not only within other countries, but also by the Medical Union in Venezuela. They argue that the Communitarian Doctors lack the scientific background to become professionals in said field. According to them, the program doesn't give them the necessary theoretical or hands on education that is required to practice medicine in any other Latin American country. Some of them have never set foot inside a surgery room or worked in the ER of a hospital. Experts argue that these students were taught through Internet tutorials.
As time passed, the Communitarian Integral Medics also migrated from Venezuela. The problem arouse do to the fact that other country’s governments were not aware of their lack of knowledge and skill in the area.
In 2015, according to El Espectador, Colombia allowed 18 communitarian doctors to work in said field. But in 2017, the Education minister of the South American nation published a warning and prohibited the recognition of the title of "Integral Communitarian Doctor" as actual doctors.
Chile also detected some Communitarian Medics working as doctors within the country. However, all of them failed the Single National Test of Medicine Knowledge. One of the Communitarian doctor just answered 2 out of 100 questions correctly.
In Ecuador, during the Rafael Correa administration, the national Government supported the program. A vast number of Ecuadorian students studied in Venezuela and returned to the country to practice medicine. In a press release, the International Relationships Minister talked about the the exchange program as " a social approach instead of a commercial outlet".
Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto