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Submitted by Rafael Hernandez on
Dear Patricio, thank you for calling attention to this very important subject and for highlighting the progress being achieved in Azerbaijan. As you pointed out, health education reform is a big challenge in almost every country, and there is broad consensus that if health care delivery is to be improved, better education of the healthcare workforce needs to be attained. Yet perhaps one of the main difficulties in developing countries is implementing sustainable education reforms that optimally prepare healthcare professionals to address the evolving needs of the population, especially amidst the rapidly declining availability of resources for both health and education. Another key challenge is the heavy resistance to change that is characteristic of the health care and health education institutions, not just in the public sector. Certainly, new technologies (e-CME, e-learning, telemedicine, telemonitoring, e-surveillance, etc.) offer huge opportunities to reduce costs while improving quality and coverage of higher education and healthcare. However, besides the lack of adequate resources, perhaps the most difficult challenge facing health education reform in developing countries is the lack of political commitment and effective leadership to carry out the required reforms.