MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, April 30, backed the call of Senator Richard Gordon to investigate the rising number of foreign doctors employed without the necessary permits in Philippine hospitals.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said a Senate inquiry would help the government establish the reason behind this influx.
"To probe what? The influx of foreign doctors? Oh eh 'di imbestigahan. Eh unang-una, baka tayo rin eh, may influx ng mga doktor, nawawala rin sa Pilipinas. 'Di ba ang daming mga doctor na nag-pupunta sa ibang bansa," the Palace official told Palace reporters.
(To probe what? The influx of foreign doctors? It's necessary to conduct an investigation. First and foremost, there may also be an influx of Filipino doctors in other countries. We all know that many doctors from the Philippines practice their profession overseas.)
"Baka kulang na tayo kaya nakakapasok sila. Kaya tama 'yun. He should really investigate the whys and the wherefores of this influx of foreign doctors in the country para malaman natin," he added.
(Perhaps, we lack doctors, that's why there's a rise in the number of foreign doctors working in the country. So that's right. He should really investigate the whys and the wherefores of this influx of foreign doctors in the country so we'll know the reason.)
Gordon, chairperson of the Senate blue ribbon committee, has called on authorities to unmask the ‘syndicate” allegedly behind this influx.
He lamented that there was a "racket employed by a syndicate" in a government-run hospital in Olongapo City named after his late father, James L. Gordon, where several Pakistani and Nepalese doctors have been serving as medical consultants.
He stressed that such act was in violation of the reciprocity requirement under Republic Act (RA) 2382 or the Medical Act, and RA 8981 or the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Modernization Act of 2000.
Under Section 7(j) of RA 8981, the PRC is empowered to "approve the registration of and authorize the issuance of a certificate of registration/ license and professional identification card.. to a foreigner who is registered under the laws of his state and whose certificate of registration issued therein has not been suspended or revoked."
The same provision also allows the PRC to authorize the issuance of a certificate of registration or a special temporary permit to foreign professionals who desire to practice their professions in the country under reciprocity and other international agreements. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)