Neoliberal Policies and their Impact on Public Health Education: Observations on the Venezuelan Experience

Oscar Feo


This article discusses the impact of neoliberal policies on the training of specialists in Public Health and describes the Venezuelan experience. In Venezuela, like other countries of the American continent, Public Health Schools had been transformed from institutions under the direction of the Ministry of Health to a model in which training took place under market conditions. Education in Public Health became a private good for individual consumption, and schools, lacking official funding, survived by offering courses in a market that did not necessarily respond to a country’s health needs. The conclusion discusses the currrent Venezuelan experience, in which the State has resumed control of the training of specialists in public health, making it more democratic, and adoptng an educational model centered around practice and whose purpose is the mass training of leadership teams to bolster the National Public Health System.

In order to comment on the impact of neoliberal policies on training in public health we must first briefly review the following themes:

1. Basic concepts such as neoliberalism, globalization, and health systems.

2. The impact of neoliberal reforms on health.

3. The Venezuelan situation: basic principles for the training of professionals and technicians in health within the framework of a model of independent and sovereign national development.

4. Final reflections: challenges for the coming years.

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Editorial Offices:

Department of Family and Social Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York, 10461

Asociación Latinoamericana de Medicina Social (ALAMES)/Latin American Social Medicine Association:
ALAMES, Southern Cone Region, Cassinoni 1440 – 802, CP 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay.
ALAMES, Mexico Region, San Jerónimo 70 – 1, Col. La Otra Banda, CP 01090, México, D.F.