The education and training of health professionals is key to reducing deaths from cancer, improving survival rates and enhancing quality of life for patients. Furthermore, specialised skills and training are necessary to facilitate a multidisciplinary, multisectoral approach to cancer management.
However, Tbilisi’s educational system faces a number of challenges. These are manifest in variations in the quality of existing medical residency programmes, a lack of continuous education opportunities for medical doctors, nurses and technologists across the different cancer care specialties, and a lack of both subspecialty programmes and clinical training for medical physicists and palliative care professionals.
To strengthen current education and professional training programmes in cancer care.
The multidisciplinary project team developed recommendations and proposed both reviews and improvements to the existing training programmes for oncology specialties and subspecialties. Furthermore, the team designed and proposed continued cancer care education opportunities for non-oncology specialists and primary care professionals, to support the decision-making and treatment referral process outside cancer care centres.
The technical working groups conducted city consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders, including the Ministries of Health and Education, as well as professional associations and international consultants. Once the documents were finalised, they were submitted for approval, endorsement and dissemination to the relevant authorities.
Policy recommendations have been designed for medical universities to strengthen cancer care education at under-graduate level, and postgraduate-level training programmes for medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgery (surgical oncology) have been reviewed.
Cancer care training modules have been designed for non-cancer medical specialists, including primary healthcare professionals, and a resolution has been presented to the Ministry of Health to ensure the existence of continuous medical education (CME) in all centres licensed to treat cancer patients.