First Students of Caracas Latin American Medical School Graduate, New University Announced

Yesterday President Nicolas Maduro announced that next year the government will create the Salvador Allende University of Health Sciences.

Merida, 26th November 2013 ( –Yesterday President Nicolas Maduro announced that next year the government will create the Salvador Allende University of Health Sciences.

He made the announcement at the graduation of 289 community doctors from the Salvador Allende Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), in Caracas, which will form part of the new initiative.

Maduro said the new health sciences university would train doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health professionals. He said Venezuela would found the university, and that he would propose it to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) summit next month in Caracas

The Venezuela based ELAM was inaugurated in April 2007 by Hugo Chavez following an agreement between himself and then Cuban President Fidel Castro in 2005. It aims to train people from around Latin America as “humanist” doctors. Priority is given to countries and students who have problems accessing higher education due to location or economic reasons, and the initiative also aims to promote Latin American and Caribbean integration.

The ELAM is currently training students from 42 countries particularly from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East (including Palestine).

The 289 doctors were the first to graduate from the school and came from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, El Salvador, Surinam, Panama, and Uruguay.

Maduro said that as of next year, 1000 students will begin studying in community medicine programs in the ELAM each year, with Venezuela aiming to train a total of 60,000 total community medicine doctors by 2019. He also said that Venezuela “needs to start programs in … dentistry, optometry, and health technology”.

He said currently there are 3,670 community medicine students studying through the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, 2,553 through the Francisco de Miranda University, 3,800 at the Ezequiel Zamora university, 3,250 through the Experimental University Romulo Gallegos, 2,253 through Experimental University Rafael Maria Baralt, and 1,808 through the ELAM. The 18,000 students in total are part of 47,000 students currently studying medicine at public universities.

“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela returns a battalion of white coats [doctors] to the historically oppressed peoples of the world, a battalion with political awareness which knows what its responsibility is,” said Sandra Moreno, director of the ELAM