La investigación en salud en Chile
An analysis of health research in Chile is made, considering factors like exaggerated professional training during undergraduate studies and clinical residencies, and displacement of professionals from academic activities to more remunerative positions. Additionally, the limited role of the Ministry of Health in research promotion, evidenced by the almost absent participation of public hospitals in clinical research is discussed. Research investment, among a 0.6 to 0.8% of the GNP, is far from developed countries and Chile has not defined relevant health problems where a search effort would have an impact in public health. The marked centralism of the country attempts against regional application to financed projects. The following suggestions are made: to increase the financing for investigation, to reassign resources allowing the access of regional institutions, to financing, to discuss in the Chilean Association of Medical Faculties (ASOFAMECH) the creation of an academic degree by means of a thesis during the professional studies and to give facilities to develop research during clinical residencies. Also, the Ministry of Health should be involved, creating a national agenda or research priorities and increasing its association with Universities. Also training programs for professionals with a special interest in investigation should be devised (Rev Méd Chile 2000; 128: 1389-95).