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UK Health Care Professionals
Assist Romanian Colleagues

By Jill Holder

 

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"We are continuing to learn how to better explain to consumers about reform in order to have better health care. Our Kentucky partners have experience in health education and we can take advantage of their expertise in the field."

-- Adriana Galan, information technology specialist for Romania's Department of Public Health and Management

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July 18, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of Kentucky health care professionals did their part to improve the health of Romanians this past month.

For two weeks, Romanian health care professionals visited the Kentucky School of Public Health faculty and staff of the UK Distance Learning Technology Center as part of an ongoing, cooperative project between UK and Romania's Department of Public Health and Management of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest and the Institute of Health Services Management. The goal of the program is to educate Romanians about their new health care system.

"Romania has undergone reform strategies and changed from a budgeted health care system to a system based on a Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs) method of payment," said Tom Samuel, associate professor in the Division of Health Services Management in the UK College of Health Sciences and the Kentucky School of Public Health.

Once a country under communist rule, Romania now faces the difficult task of implementing new health care systems and educating the public about health care options. UK faculty members are helping the country achieve its goal through two separate public health education projects.

UK faculty members are working with Romanian health professionals to educate health care administrators in Romania to successfully manage their organization, given the changes in health care resource allocation. UK also is involved in a collaborative communication campaign in Romania, using print, television, and radio news media to explain how to access health care information.

"We are continuing to learn how to better explain to consumers about reform in order to have better health care," said Adriana Galan, information technology specialist for the Department of Public Health and Management. "Our Kentucky partners have experience in health education and we can take advantage of their expertise in the field."

The use of new computer software and the Internet are especially important in the implementation of this program.

"Health professionals can contact local health authorities and access the Internet for health care education using distance education methodologies," Galan said.

Aside from bolstering the health care system in Romania, project leaders are finding several other advantages to implementing these types of programs.

"Romania will soon join NATO and has applied for membership in the European Union. This program is important because the United States wants to help Romania achieve membership," Samuel said.

The training program will also be used for modeling, training and education of health professionals in other countries.


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