TESDAMAN Foresees More M.D. Board Passers from “Doktor Para sa Bayan” Scholars

TESDAMAN Foresees More M.D. Board Passers from “Doktor Para sa Bayan” Scholars

Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva expressed hope that more future passers of medical board tests would come from the ranks of Doktor Para sa Bayan Act scholars, as he congratulated the country’s 1,427 new doctors.

Despite the addition of the March 2022 licensure examination passers to the ranks of doctors, Villanueva said their total number is still far from the ideal doctor-to-population ratio.

“At the minimum 1 per 1,000, the country has a shortage of 80,000 doctors,” Villanueva said.

This shortfall is, however, based on the 2022 population of 110 million, he said.

“By 2030, our population will increase to 125 million, and 15 million more Filipinos would ideally need 45,000 doctors,” the senator said.

To address this challenge, Villanueva said medical scholarships under the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act have gotten a big boost in this year’s national budget.

“Ang kabuuang pondo po para sa mga iskolar ng bayan na nag-aaral ng medisina ay lampas isang bilyong piso,” he said

Villanueva is the principal sponsor and principal author of said law, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on December 23, 2020, as Republic Act 11509.

He also sponsored the funding for its implementation in the 2022 General Appropriations Act.

Villanueva explained that money for this year’s Doktor Para sa Bayan scholarships will come from different sources.

These are the P500 million under the Medical Scholarship and Return Service program, and P167 million under the existing medical scholarship program, both under the Commission on Higher Education. Another source is the pre-service scholarship grants under DOH’s National Health Workforce Support System Program.

“Next year, the budget should be increased because erasing the national backlog of doctors should not be delayed,” Villanueva said.

The chair of the Senate committee on higher, technical, and vocational education said the increase in scholars will go hand-in-hand with the increase in the number of state universities offering MD courses.

Villanueva noted that while public schools for medicine are yet to be established in seven regions in the country, more SUCs offering medical courses are expected to rise soon.

He added that new public schools of medicine were recently established in the following SUCs: ?Cebu Normal University (first in Region 7), Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City (first in Region 9), and the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City (first in Region 9). More schools of medicine are expected to come from SUCs such as Isabela State University, Batangas State University, Cavite State University, University of Southern Mindanao, and Mindanao State University-General Santos.

“With the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act and more SUCs offering medical courses, the dream of becoming a doctor and the dream of medical services for the masses are both close to reality for Filipinos,” Villanueva said.

The Doktor Para sa Bayan Act aims to produce more physicians by offering qualified candidates free tuition, book, living and other allowances. The law requires the scholar to serve in public health facilities for at least one year for every scholarship year enjoyed.

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Mas Maraming M.D. Board Passers, Magmumula sa “Doktor Para sa Bayan” Scholars – TESDAMAN

Inaasahan ni Sen. Joel “TESDAMAN” Villanueva na mga iskolar ng Doktor Para sa Bayan ang mga susunod na papasa sa medical board examinations.

Kahit nadagdagan ng 1,427 na bagong doktor ang bansa sa pagpasa nila sa March 2022 licensure examinations, sinabi ni Villanueva na malayo pa rin ang kabuuang bilang sa nararapat na doctor-to-population ratio.

“Kung dapat may isang doktor sa bawat isang libong tao, kulang pa po tayo ng 80,000,” sabi ni Villanueva. Base ito sa 110 milyon na populasyon ng bansa para sa taong 2022.

“Pagdating po ng 2030, tataas sa 125 milyon ang populasyon natin, at ang dagdag na 15 milyong Pilipino ay nangangailangan ng 45,000 na doktor,” sabi ng senador.

Para tugunan ang pangangailangang ito, sinabi ni Villanueva na nakatanggap ng dagdag na pondo ngayong taon ang mga scholarship sa ilalim ng Doktor Para sa Bayan Act.

“Ang kabuuang pondo po para sa mga iskolar ng bayan na nag-aaral ng medisina ay lampas isang bilyong piso,” sabi niya.

Si Villanueva ang principal sponsor at principal author ng Republic Act 11509, na pinirmahan ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte noong December 23, 2020. Siya rin ang sponsor ng pagpopondo ng batas na ito sa ilalim ng 2022 General Appropriations Act.

Ipinaliwanag ng senador na may iba’t ibang panggagalingan ang pondo ng Doktor Para sa Bayan scholarships.

Ito ay ang P500 million sa ilalim ng Medical Scholarship and Return Service program, at P167 milyon sa ilalim ng umiiral na medical scholarship program, na parehong pondong mula sa Commission on Higher Education. Isa pang panggagalingan ng pondo ay ang pre-service scholarship grants ng National Health Workforce Support System Program ng DOH.

“Sa susunod na taon, dapat taasan pa po natin ang budget ng scholarship. Hindi dapat maantala ang pagpuno natin sa kakulangan ng mga doktor sa bansa,” sabi ni Villanueva.

Sinabi ng chair ng Senate committee on higher, technical, and vocational education na ang pagtaas ng bilang ng mga iskolar ay kaakibat ng pagtaas ng dami mga SUC na may kursong medisina.

Binanggit din ni Villanueva datapuwat pitong rehiyon sa bansa ang wala pang pampublikong paaralang pangmedisina, mas marami pang SUCs na may kursong medisina ang itatatag.

Sinabi rin ng senador na nadagdagan kamakailan ang mga pampublikong paaralang pangmedisina sa mga sumusunod na SUCs: Cebu Normal University (first in Region 7), Western Mindanao State University sa Zamboanga City (first in Region 9), at University of Southeastern Philippines sa Davao City (first in Region 9). Inaasahang magkaroon din ng mga school of medicine sa mga SUC na gaya ng Isabela State University, Batangas State University, Cavite State University, University of Southern Mindanao, at Mindanao State University-General Santos.

“Dahil sa Doktor Para sa Bayan Act at mas maraming SUC na may kursong medisina, abot-kamay na sa mga Pilipino ang pangarap na maging doktor at serbisyong medikal para sa masa,” sabi ni Villanueva.

Layon ng Doktor Para sa Bayan Act na magkaroon ng mas maraming doktor sa bansa sa pagbibigay ng libreng tuition, libro, at iba pang allowance para sa mga kwalipikadong estudyante. Inaatasan din ng batas na magsilbi ang mga iskolar ng programa sa mga public health facility katumbas ng mga taon nila sa scholarship.

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