/ 30 September 2020

SENATOR Sonny Angara wants the Senate Committee on Finance headed by him to look into the financial requirement in the establishment of public medical schools in every region.

He said that his panel needs to determine whether state colleges and universities should introduce a medical degree program and how much funding it would take to pay personnel, acquire facilities and infrastructure.

“SUCs as they are funded by the national government are deemed the most accessible higher educational institution to the general public. They should take up the cudgels of ensuring that their own regions would have enough medical manpower to be ready for existing and emerging health services needs,” the senator said.

The Senate earlier passed the “Doktor para sa Bayan” bill that mandates the government to provide medical scholarships in state universities and colleges and in private schools in areas where there are no SUCs to qualified students.

The House of Representatives has also approved its counterpart measure.

In Senate Resolution 528, Angara stressed that the crisis brought by the Covid19 pandemic underscores the need to produce more competent doctors and health professionals to respond to future public health emergencies.

The senator admitted that this is challenging since of the 115 SUCs, only nine offer medical degrees and only 45 have nursing courses.

“This pandemic should be an opportunity to boost the country’s capacity not only in upgrading existing health facilities but also producing more medical professionals,” Angara said.