THE Regional Development Council Central Visayas (RDC 7), during its third full council meeting held virtually on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, approved for endorsement the proposed Cebu Normal University-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (CNU-VSMMC) College of Medicine, which will address the need for doctors in rural areas.
Evelyn Castro, RDC 7 Social Development Council (SDC) chairperson, said during the Sept. 18 special meeting of the SDC, it was recommended for the RDC 7 Council to endorse the proposed CNU-VSMMC College of Medicine to the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) central office for funding and to also furnish a copy of the resolution to the Department of Health.
Castro said this is an exciting development and initiative of the two institutions as the CNU-VSMMC College of Medicine will be the first state-funded higher education institution offering a Doctor of Medicine degree in Central Visayas.
Earlier, CNU and VSMMC entered into a consortium agreement to offer a five-year double degree Doctor of Medicine Program with Masters in Public Health Governance.
The program will be offered to less fortunate but deserving students from Central Visayas who will then be required to render five years return service in government facilities or health centers in rural areas.
In a statement in November 2019, VSMMC chief Gerardo Aquino Jr., M.D. said they were targeting to begin classes in August 2020, but due to delays and the current Covid-19 pandemic, the program is now slated to start in Academic Year 2021-2022 with 50 pioneering students.
Castro said the envisioned College of Medicine graduate is a doctor who is not only an expert in delivering patient care but also a transformative leader in health governance with competencies in leadership and governance, health systems development, community ownership and participation, primary health care concepts and research.
Under the consortium agreement, CNU will serve as the degree-granting institution which will also be responsible for the approval, monitoring and evaluation of academic policies, quality assurance in program implementation and designating a program dean.
VSMMC, for its part, will handle the program implementation and other necessary operations, provide teaching and non-teaching practitioners from their team of consultants and also the physical plant and required facilities.
The would-be College of Medicine will be located at the Medical Center’s Cancer Center in the VSMMC compound.
The program will be offered to less fortunate but deserving students from Central Visayas who will then be required to render five years return service in government facilities or health centers in rural areas. (WBS)