President Luis Abinader headed this Wednesday the inauguration of the new Simulation Center of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, with an investment of RD$125 million.
“Here you will have the best equipment to learn and train in the best techniques. We have invested 125 million pesos in this project, but as I have told you before, this is a necessary expense, a key investment to have a first level health system”, said the president.
During the ceremony, held at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the president said that in these years of pandemic health has been a key area, and said that it is in the government’s interest that science, universities and students go hand in hand. And this center allows and promotes it, he stressed.
He said that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to preserve a modern health system.
The President emphasized that: “If we have learned anything in these last two years of pandemic, it has been that Health is a key area, and that if we are not prepared, the collapse of the entire system is inevitable”.
In this regard, he stated that health spending is not an expense, but an investment in life, wellbeing and development.
Increase in the health budget
Likewise, the President announced that the technicians of the economic area of the Government are working to introduce an increase in the budget of the National Health System, in order to provide the sector with the best tools to work, train and acquire skills that will allow it to act quickly, professionally and efficiently in the future.
Referring to the facilities that the new UASD health center will have, President Abinader indicated that, “this simulation center is intended to be just that, a clinical space that resembles a teaching hospital with beds, stretchers, procedure cribs, ambulance, intensive care and details that provide realism and familiarization of the student with hospital supplies”.
He recalled that for decades, the skill gain of students in health science careers has been based on the limited practice that offers students the opportunity to examine patients who come to public hospitals seeking services.
However, he said that now things are changing, and more resources are being put into improving services.
Transformation in health and education
President Luis Abinader said that in order to transform the teaching practice in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UASD, it is necessary to move from the traditional model of semiological practice, to one based on the use of simulators for training in specific competencies, which will improve the confidence and learning of students.
“If we have the best personnel, we will have the best system,” he explained and indicated that this is the purpose of this center.
He said that the authorities are focused on innovation; on changes, on excellence and on the development of this country in all areas, and proclaimed that: “Here the future is forged, here we will be able to simulate the Dominican Republic of tomorrow,” said President Abinader.
The Simulation Center is part of the teaching-learning system of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, in particular of the careers of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
For her part, the rector of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Emma Polanco, affirmed that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, this academy was one of the least affected.
Polanco said that the new facilities at the Faculty of Medicine will benefit 18,872 students, being the Dominican people the great winner.
He announced that attention will be given to the different private universities that do not have a simulation center, so that they can take their students to the Simulation Center of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, a task that will be carried out in coordination with the dean’s office of the medical school.
“We have to contribute, not only for the UASD, but for the Dominican Republic,” said Polanco.
The academic official thanked President Luis Abinader for his special collaboration with the UASD, and emphasized that: “He who is not grateful is not a human being”.
She also called on the various private universities that do not have a simulation center to bring their students, in coordination with the deanship of the medical school.
The rector of the Primada de América gave the head of state a document with all the restructuring processes carried out during her term of office at the university, in which she informed that the amount invested in the simulation center was 32 million pesos.
He valued the initiative of President Abinader for the creation of the virtual platform of the UASD, where before the implementation of the website there were only 300 virtual sections, which were increased with the implementation of this platform to 30,900 sections. Likewise, the number of virtual classrooms for teachers was increased to 15,400.
“The investment in technology, only in software and capacity was more than 200 million for storage, for the virtual platform, for everything that has to do with virtuality,” said the rector of the UASD, Emma Polanco.
Many years in the making
Meanwhile, the dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Rosel Fernandez, said that this project had been proposed for years, but finally two years ago the first steps were taken to make it a reality today.
“Of course, this is in response to the national and international requirements of the transformation of teaching based on competencies and simulation that today’s times demand,” she said.
The dean explained that a simulation center resembles a hospital, where all possible events that occur in a real hospital are staged, which is going to allow students at their sites to perform their practices on mannequins or simulators that come in different categories.
“We have high-fidelity mannequins that can simply be programmed and can stage most of the pathophysiological events that occur in any human being,” said the dean.
The dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences explained that in the hospital more than 150 students can work at the same time in different areas, and there are also four consulting rooms fully equipped so that the students can approach a patient who is a simulated actor.
He indicated that with this new simulation hospital the teacher can observe the whole process and then in the feedback show him where he made a mistake or where he got everything right.
President Luis Abinader was accompanied at the ceremony by Ministers Franklin García Fermín, of Higher Education; Daniel Rivera of Public Health and David Collado, of Tourism.
Also in attendance were Rosel Fernández, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences; Editrudis Beltrán, rector-elect; Senen Caba, CMD president; Pablo Valdez, administrative vice rector; Hilario Reyes Pérez of Public Health Medical Residencies; Ramón Enrique Félix Jiménez of MIDE Medical Residencies; Miguel Robiu of INTEC, as well as the members of the University Council.
At the end of the inauguration ceremony, President Luis Abinader toured the Simulation Center where he received explanations and samples of what the medical students will do when presented with cases of critically ill patients.