The education and training of health workers in
A study carried out in 1965 under PAHO auspices determined that relatively few high-quality medical textbooks were available in Spanish, and those that were had prices beyond the reach of many potential users. The answer to the problem developed by PAHO in consultation with its member governments and the universities of the region was to create the Medical Textbook Program, a mechanism to provide high-quality instructional materials at prices which would represent a real incentive for students to use them.
First implemented in 1968, the basic scheme involves centralized book purchase in bulk quantities, thus obtaining significant discounts from publishers; use of PAHO's Headquarters and country field office infrastructure for assistance in shipping logistics and financial management; and administration of sales by the universities without charge to the Program. That same year, PAHO negotiated a loan with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance the Medical Textbooks Program.
Since 1971 PALTEX operations are financed by two revolving funds created by PAHEF with loans from the Inter-American Development Bank. The first one was made to purchase textbooks for medical students, and the second loan was made in 1979, to finance the Program’s expansion to include other health sciences disciplines. At that point, the Program’s name was changed to Expanded Textbooks and Instructional Materials Program (PALTEX).