Nov. 19, 2010




MANILA —  Sen. Loren Legarda is batting for higher compensation for doctors to encourage them to stay and practice their profession in the country.

Legarda noted that a lot of doctors have opted to become nurses in order to secure employment overseas where the salaries and benefits are significantly higher.

“In a survey done by the Department of Health (DOH), among its retained training and teaching hospitals, 12 percent of plantilla positions for medical residents remain unfilled,” Legarda said.

“It is feared that with Filipinos opting for out-of-residency training, there will no longer be Filipino medical specialists in the future,” she added.

She lamented that many Filipino doctors shift to the nursing profession and work abroad where they get bigger salaries.

Legarda noted that some of the doctors in government hospitals earn a measly P19,168 a month while living in inhumane conditions.

“Resident doctors are the main workforce in hospitals and, as such, they are sometimes on duty for three straight days, during which meals and sleep are missed. Surely, these dismal conditions make raising a family and living decently a very difficult endeavor for Filipino doctors in the country,” Legarda said.

Legarda said that through her Senate Bill No. 1395, she seeks to encourage Filipino medical residents to stay and work in the country.

The bill recommends the creation of an agency attached to the DOH that would oversee and standardize the accreditation of specialties and sub-specialties in the profession.

“Through this bill, it is hoped that our country will produce competent medical specialists who are willing to stay in the country and serve their fellow citizens,” Legarda said.

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