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International cooperation in the humanisation of medicine: examples of good practice

27 October 2023

International cooperation in medicine plays a key role in promoting the humanisation of healthcare worldwide. By using best practices and sharing experiences between different countries, it is possible to raise the standards of medical care and build more empathetic and patient-centred healthcare systems

Development of future doctors and medical staff

International cooperation in the field of medical education plays a key role in preparing future doctors and medical staff to work in diverse clinical settings and culturally diverse patient populations. Student exchange programmes and international training programmes provide a solid foundation for international cooperation in this area.

Student exchange programmes allow medical students to gain valuable experience in different countries and medical environments. By participating in such programmes, students not only acquire practical knowledge, but also develop interpersonal skills, which are extremely important when dealing with patients. Working with people from different cultures helps students understand how cultural differences affect patients' expectations and needs, which is of paramount importance for tailoring medical care to individual needs.

International training programmes for doctors and medical staff go a step further, allowing them to gain experience in different specialities and clinical settings on a global scale. Doctors participating in such programmes not only expand their medical knowledge, but also learn new treatment and diagnostic techniques. Working with patients with different needs and expectations provides an excellent opportunity to hone practical skills and develop clinical decision-making abilities.

International cooperation in medical education is not only beneficial for future doctors, but also contributes to improving the quality of healthcare around the world. Students, doctors and medical staff learn from each other, sharing different perspectives and experiences. This in turn translates into more comprehensive and tailored healthcare for patients.

Accelerating the development of health care

The exchange of data and medical research results is a key element of international medical cooperation. Researchers from different countries can share their findings, helping to accelerate the development of healthcare worldwide.

International collaborations give researchers access to a wide range of data and research results on different diseases. This enables them to compare the effectiveness of different therapies, identify risk factors and discover new treatments. This speeds up the process of developing more effective treatments and medical procedures.

International clinical trials are a key part of this process. They enable patients around the world to have access to the latest medical treatments and procedures. International collaboration allows large-scale studies to be conducted, which increases the reliability of the results and enables innovations to be introduced into clinical practice more quickly.

It is noteworthy that the global exchange of information and research results contributes to a better understanding of diseases with complex aetiologies, such as cancer or autoimmune diseases. Researchers from different countries are working together to develop solutions that can improve patients' quality of life and increase their chances of a cure.

International collaboration in medical research is not only about sharing data, but also about building international research teams and partnerships. It is the joint work of researchers, clinicians and medical engineers that contributes to innovative solutions in healthcare.

Sharing best practice in the humanisation of medicine

International cooperation in the humanisation of medicine is not only an opportunity to share knowledge, but also to exchange best practices. Different countries and medical institutions have their own unique approaches to humanising healthcare due to cultural, social and system differences. By working together, they can inspire and learn from each other.

An example is the Dutch model of care, which places a strong emphasis on open communication between doctor and patient. This form of humanisation is based on trust and respect towards the patient and their autonomy. Another country may in turn have an innovative approach to the care of elderly patients, taking into account the special needs of this population group. Through collaboration, these experiences can be combined and adapted to local realities.

Sharing best practices in the humanisation of medicine is also an opportunity to discover new methods of assessing the quality of care. Countries and institutions can test different indicators and tools to determine which ones best reflect the degree of humanisation of care. This makes it possible to develop more precise tools for assessing and monitoring progress.

Education and awareness campaigns for the humanisation of medicine

International medical organisations and institutions have a significant influence in shaping public opinion and attitudes towards the humanisation of medicine. Education and awareness campaigns are a key tool in promoting the value of humanisation and informing the public about the benefits of an empathetic approach to patients.

Such campaigns can include activities to inform patients about their rights as part of the humanisation of healthcare. Through education, patients are better informed about their rights and can participate in the treatment process in an informed manner.

In addition, these campaigns can promote attitudes and behaviours that support the humanisation of medicine, such as active listening to the patient, respect for cultural differences or cooperation between different fields of medicine and social care. Educational activities aim not only to increase knowledge, but also to change attitudes and behaviours among both healthcare professionals and the public.