Bill seeks to create agency ensuring better pay for medical practitioners-A A +A
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A NEOPHYTE legislator from Cebu is seeking the creation of an agency under the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure the enforcement of policies aimed at providing better pay and promoting humane working conditions for medical residents.
Under House Bill 5160 otherwise known as the "Medical Residency Act of 2011", Cebu Representative Gabriel Quisumbing seeks to avert a potential health crisis in the country resulting from the exodus of medical practitioners to other countries and the dwindling number of enrollees in the field of medicine.
Quisumbing said his proposed legislation would upgrade not only the salary and benefits for doctors but their working conditions and training as well.
HB 5160 shall create the Philippine Medical Accreditation Council (PMAC) which shall also ensure that the medical residency training for all specialties and subspecialties of medical residents is not only of high-quality but also responsive to the current health service needs of the Philippine population.
"This bill seeks to make our Filipino medical residents stay in the country in order for them to continue looking after the health of Filipinos. We hope that our country will produce competent medical specialists who are willing to stay in the country and serve their fellow citizens," Quisumbing said.
"The decreasing enrollment of students in the field of medicine in the Philippines has been showing an alarming trend," Quisumbing added.
The crisis is now being felt in some government and private hospitals where they reportedly have many unfilled medical resident positions and are now resorting to hiring foreign doctors, the neophyte lawmaker noted.
Citing a survey done by the Department of Health (DOH), Quisumbing said 12 percent of plantilla positions for medical residents in its retained training and teaching hospitals remained unfilled.
Medical residents could not be faulted, Quisumbing said, adding that a Medical Officer III in government hospitals is receiving a monthly salary of P19,168.
Quisumbing feared that with Filipinos opting out of residency training, Filipino medical specialists will no longer be available in the future. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)