Co-operation for education of health care personal in arthritis.
In Sweden we have 24 County Councils that are responsible for health care.
One of the most important tasks the Swedish Rheumatism Association, the SRA, is to give health care professionals more knowledge so they can discover early arthritis. If they do we today have a good arsenal of therapies to give people with arthritis a hopeful future. The communities themselves don’t have resources to give their personnel further education in medical specialties. In Sweden as in other countries the medical companies offer the doctors a lot of specialised education. This is criticised by the public and there are forces in movement to change the situation.
For a long time the Swedish Arthritis/Rheumatism Association has given courses to health care personnel but this has only been the case in some parts of Sweden. Therefore our organisation, with support from 6 medical companies, now has started an educational project. This last autumn we negotiated with the medical companies to support us and in January we employed one person to contact all the County Councils to get a co-operation project with them to plan for educational days i e training for the medical profession.
We have a board, a steering group for this which includes representatives for the organisation of the GPs, for the organisation SRF (the rheumatologists), for Sverefo which represents the professionals from the arthritis team, for our own hospital Spenshult (owned by the SRA) representing the Patient Partner Project in Sweden which is employed by us and some other additional important partners.
The contents of the education is decided upon in cooperation between representatives from the SRA and the county councils mainly on the basis of some educational programs in arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia och osteoporosis which the board picks out. Our patient owned hospital Spenshult in Halmstad on the west coast of Sweden has the main responsibility for the implementation of the educational days and the medical quality. We also try to stress patient influence and the point of view of the patients.
The companies can have exhibitions in the vicinity and treat the participants to food and an attractive free time program. The curriculum usually doesn’t contain themes from rheumatology but instead fields like leadership, conflict management and personal development. The educational days vary from a group of 20 participating doctors working with dialogue pedagogy to lectures with 150 participants. We stress a qualitatively good documentation.
The year 2001 is a formative year for the project. Until now we have carried out three educational programs this spring and plan seven for the fall. In 2002, which together with the Swedish Pharmacies has been declared the year of Arthritis/Rheumatism, we plan to carry through approximately forty such educational programs in all county councils in Sweden.
Another project which I want to mention here also covers the education of health care professionals is to build up” e-learning” for the rheuma team.
At our next conference we hope to be able to present some more experiences from both these projects.
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