Ched approves 20th public medical school located in Eastern Visayas

Ched approves 20th public medical school located in Eastern Visayas
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THE Commission on Higher Education (Ched) has approved the application of the Samar State University (SSU) for a government authority to operate the Doctor of Medicine program at the Samar Island Institute of Medicine (SIIM).

In a statement, Ched chairperson Prospero de Vera III said the SIIM will be the 20th public university in the country that will offer a medical program, benefiting poor but deserving students who aspire to be doctors.

He said medical education is now more accessible to students in Eastern Visayas where there is no state college or university (SUCs) that offers such a program.

The UP School of Health Sciences in Palo, Leyte has a medical program using a ladderized system but its students are scholars of local governments and does not allow direct enrollment of students.

De Vera said it will facilitate the implementation of Republic Act 11509 or the Doktor Para sa Bayan law, which aims to increase the number of doctors who will serve in far-flung areas by establishing a Medical Scholarship and Return Service (MSRS) program for deserving students in SUCs, or in partner private Higher Education Institutions in regions where no SUCs offer a medical course.

SSU President Marilyn Cardoso welcomed the approval.

“As SSU president, I am filled with immense pride, joy, and gratitude that the University has finally been granted authority by Ched to offer the Doctor of Medicine program. The program is the first of its kind in the Island of Samar and represents a significant milestone in our history as a university,” said Cardoso.

“The program is more than just an addition to our academic offerings; it represents SSU’s commitment to rewriting the narrative of Samar; to transform the healthcare landscape; and to ensure that the peoples of Samar and beyond will have access to world-class medical training and care. It is a testimony of our shared aspirations turning into reality,” she added.

Prior to the passage of the Doktor Para sa Bayan law, there were only eight SUCs with medical schools -- five in Luzon, two in the Visayas and one in Mindanao.

Under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the SUCs with medical schools increased to 20 in which there are eight in Luzon, five in the Visayas and seven in Mindanao.

A total of 2,689 poor but deserving students enjoy scholarships in public and private-partner medical schools in the country under the Doktor Para sa Bayan law.

They will practice in underserved areas upon graduation through a return service agreement as part of their scholarship grant. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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