July 20, 2017: Heart and Head

Dr. Santina Beres, an Oé-Cusse local working at Passabe, has won a scholarship to attend the Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, (CHUC) in Portugal.

Dr. Beres was working in the health post in Haemnanu, near Passabe, Oé-Cusse when she applied for the examination. Now she is completing the preliminary training in the hospital in Pante Macassar. After this is completed she will travel to Portugal to train for 36 months in internal medicine, cardiology of coronary intervention, cardiac surgery and clinical cardiology.

On the 8th May 2017 she competed against fifteen other Timorese doctors, in an examination supervised by both Timorese and Portuguese doctors, in the coastal town of Pante Makassar, Oé-Cusse.

For Dr. Santina, the opportunity to learn is the most important part. For her, the possibilities of seeing Portugal are not as interesting as the possibility of studying medicine in a major university. As child of Oé-Cusse, she looks forward to returning to use her skills at home.

A second doctor, Domingos Ena has also won a place. He leaves behind his 2-year baby, who will be cared for by his wife. Despite feeling both sad and hopeful, he feels the effort is worth it.

There is free healthcare throughout Timor-Leste. But these doctors are making this legal guarantee into a practical reality. By recruiting and investing in local Timorese doctors and health professionals RAEOA – ZEESM TL, is making sure that skills remain in the areas most in need of them by hiring and training national staff.

The training is part of a long-term partnership between CHUC in Portugal and RAEOA – ZEESM TL in Oé-Cusse. RAEOA – ZEESM TL will continue seek out other Timorese doctors, nurses and technicians from Timor for specialized and advanced medical training in the coming years while CHUC is committed to provide focused training.

The clinic being completed in Pante Maccasar will be open when they return.

Dr. Nuno Quintal and Dr. Luis Paiva chose the winning candidates based on an examination which was supervised by the Infectious Disease Specialist Health Advisor, Dr. Danina Coelho.

The partnership will be an opportunity for Timorese professionals to expand their skills, advance into higher positions, and most importantly, it will allow the peoples of Oé-Cusse permanent access to a local professional. Other doctors, nurses, and technicians will also be sent for training to Portugal for a period of up to twelve months. The Timorese doctors will become part of a network of local professionals spread throughout the Oé-Cusse region. In the hospital in Pante Macassar ten doctors, all midwives and all nurses are from Timor-Leste.

They will return to join their other medical colleagues who are currently being trained as anesthesia technician and ear specialists by Cuban doctors based at the main hospital in Oé-Cusse Ambeno.