Building a Brazilian national network for pediatric endocrinology: the RUTE SIG experience
R. Arrais1, C. Alves2, L. Castro8, C. Kopacek7, L. Calliari6, D. Damiani11, L. Garcia4, C. Hoineff10, M. Lobe5, P. Solberg9, R. Liberatori13, G. Graça12 & G. Guerra3
Providing good information, exchanging expertise and stimulating clinical discussions are usually main goals when structuring academic services. Nowadays, especially in large countries with social/economic differences between regions, such as Brazil, telemedicine and telehealth are resources with main strategic importance in a countrys Public Health System. Since its creation, RUTE network (Rede Universitária de Telemedicina, supported by brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology in association with the Ministry of Health) is enforcing the creation of SIG (Special Interest Groups) with the purpose of integrating and enhancing collaboration between universities and educational health institutions with graduation and/or post graduation medical programs, including medical residences, in a great (and ever expanding) array of subjects and themes. Starting in august, 2011, the SIG of Pediatric Endocrinology was structured to integrate services from all over the country, in monthly videoconferences, following a program previously discussed. These conferences are designed to stimulate the full participation of top specialists and also residents and medical students. Presently, six institutions are enlisted (UFRN Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte; UNICAMP Universidade de Campinas; UFBA Universidade Federal da Bahia; UnB- Universidade de Brasília; Santa Casa (Porto Alegre); USP Universidade de São Paulo; UFPR Universidade Federal do Paraná e FAMERP Faculdade de Medicina de Rio Preto). After each one of the first four videoconferences, conclusions were summarized in order to subsidize national politics in critical pediatric endocrinology issues, like national protocols of growth hormone and insulin analogues dispensation by federal and state governments. The main effort is to expand the group of institutions, which, even in this very initial moment, includes institutions from four of five great regions of the country. In a such a large and diverse country as Brazil, this activity must be enforced, since its advantages and potential usefulness had already been shown.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.