UPMin’s MD program to address low doctor-to-patient ratio in Mindanao

The 1st MD program by a state university in Davao City to address low doctor-to-patient ratio in Mindanao eyed to open next year
UPMin’s MD program to address low doctor-to-patient ratio in Mindanao
UP Media and Public Relations Office

THE University of the Philippines System (UP System) through UP Mindanao is set to institutionalize the first state university’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) program in Davao City in the Academic Year 2025-2026, aiming to address the low doctor-to-population ratio in the island.

Despite the big improvement in the physician-to-patient ratio, the Davao City Health Office (CHO) said that each health district stands at 1 to every 50,000 in 2022 compared to 200,000 people tallied in previous years.

However, this is still lower compared to Metro Manila’s 1:15,300 ratio.

This will be the priority of the national comprehensive university in the country committed to helping the social and health care needs of not just the Dabawenyos but also the Mindanaoan community by bringing the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) level of the top-tier medical system, clinical research, and to provide cutting-edge technology to the island.

UP-PGH is a tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines-Manila. It is designated National University Hospital and the national government referral center.

“This is one thing that we noticed, the World Health Organization recommends one doctor to 1,000 people. We are very concerned about health. Hopefully, by next year, ma-establish na nato ang UP College of Medicine sa UP Mindanao (we will be able to establish the UP College of Medicine in UP Mindanao)” UP newly installed President, lawyer Angelo Jimenez said during the University’s Strategic Plan 2023 to 2029 Press Conference on Tuesday morning, May 7, 2024 at UP Mindanao, Mintal campus. 

Meanwhile, its completion has yet to be announced as the program is still undergoing rigid academic planning including the construction of the buildings for its laboratories which may be located outside the institution’s premises.

“We will find [an] interim means introducing this. Ang medicine (The medicine), we will rent spaces because the needs are urgent,” Jimenez added.

Under the initiatives of Jimenez, the university will greatly improve its academic offerings to better serve local and national needs. It will also modernize its admissions procedures to provide more fair access to top-notch, state-subsidized higher education.

“In response to the growing local demand for skilled human resources and to help address the urgent social and development concerns here in Mindanao,” the state university president explained in his separate message.

To recall, former UP President Danilo Concepcion led the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Davao City Public Hospital, held on December 20, 2022, at the same institution wherein he cited that the hospital will serve as a training hospital for the future UP Mindanao College of Medicine.

“Thank you for believing in the dream and recognizing the necessity of building up Davao City’s healthcare system, which, like the rest of our country's healthcare system, is facing significant challenges,” he said.

In addition to the MD program, the institution is planning to introduce two new Master of Science (MS) degrees, an Associate in Entrepreneurship program, and new programs in Civil Engineering. In order to help graduates of BS Applied Mathematics and BS Computer Science upskill their knowledge and skills, the MS in Quantitative Methods and Modelling will also be introduced.

On the other hand, a new MS Biology program will be opened with four specialty tracks adopted from the Institute of Biology at UP Diliman. 

The launch of these new programs will kick off the “Road to 5,000 Students” or “R2-5K” agenda of UP Mindanao with an aim to increase the student population from 1,400  to 5,000 students by the year 2009.  DEF

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