Let’s renew our journey with our friends from AIM and the third video in the 360Vision series. Here our attention takes a bit of a turn toward what is actually a couple of topics of importance. There is a bit of mis-translation in the video. Around :48 seconds in they are interviewing Dr Iris Tejeda about the situation regarding the employment status of newly graduated medical students. They ask why so many are unemployed and she states because there is no money (the government doesn’t have enough funding to pay them) while the subtitles say because there are no openings. Which is obviously not the case.
How appropriate then is it that short term medical teams come to a location such as the one in this video series and PROVIDE medical services when there is a 50% unemployment rate among recent medical school graduates? Rather than traveling to a country like Honduras and spending $50,000 to do so for a week, wouldn’t it make more sense that any such groups should have long term relationships built up with, first and foremost, the local healthcare system in the towns and villages where they will be serving? And at the same time long term relationships with the in-country professional schools that are educating the future healthcare providers in the host country? Wouldn’t it make sense that we should make every effort to coordinate our short term visits with all such entities? And that would include the ministry of health and any licensing entity that exists. Is this going to be challenging and difficult and probably not just a little frustrating? Yes of course. But is it not the approach that is going to give the kind of depth of knowledge we need to made long term lasting change for the health of the people we seek to serve? What do you all think?
There are other points to be made but I’d love to see some discussion about what I’ve written above. Can we justify bringing in STMM’s and taking away potential work and income from the 50% of local doctors that are out of work? How should it be done if we are thinking of matching our zeal with the knowledge of how to STMM’s with excellence and with a truly long term impact?
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This is the blog for the Best Practices in Global Health Mission division of the Center for the Study of Health in Mission. It is a space for all who are interested in sharing opinions, ideas and best practices having to do with Christ centered health related ministry.