The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has authorized Cebu Normal University-Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (CNU-VSMMC) and Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) to offer a Doctor of Medicine Program effective AY 2021-2022 as part of the overall national effort to increase the number of doctors in underserved areas.
These state universities will assist the government in providing one doctor per barangay as a way of making primary health care accessible especially in rural or underserved areas, as mandated under Section 25.3.e and f of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
The Department of Health (DOH) describes the UHC or the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP), as the “provision to every Filipino of the highest possible quality of health care that is accessible, efficient, equitably distributed, adequately funded, fairly financed, and appropriately used by an informed and empowered public.”
The Doktor Para sa Bayan Law or RA 11509 was recently signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte which will establish a Medical Scholarship and Return Service (MSRS) program for deserving students in state universities and colleges (SUCs) or in partner private higher education institutions (HEIs) in regions where no SUCs offer a medical course.
“In support of these landmark laws, CHED is aggressively assisting top SUCs develop doctor of medicine programs to address the shortage of doctors across regions of the country,” said CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.
Since last year, CHED has also given funds for the acquisition of equipment in the medical schools of Mariano Marcos State University, University of Northern Philippines and West Visayas State University. More than 1,000 students in the eight SUCs with medical programs have also benefited from the Medical Scholarship program of CHED since 2017.
CNU shall follow a combination of the Cuban and Canadian model curriculum which balances clinical and population/community based practice.
The WMSU program will focus on Holistic and Integrated Learning in Medicine which combines problem-based integrated system approach and research-based and values-driven education.
“The new Doctor of Medicine program in these two SUCs will expand the opportunities for the poor but deserving students through scholarship support under the Doktor Para sa Bayan Act. The Duterte administration will produce more doctors through our top SUCs, who will go to underserved areas and local governments in need of health personnel,” De Vera said.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education