Trillanes pushes for salary hike of doctors

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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Photo by INQUIRER.net’s Noy Morcoso III

MANILA, Philippines – In order to entice Filipino doctors to stay in the country despite the lure of greener pastures abroad, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed a bill seeking to increase the salary of physicians and providing them additional benefits.

“Senate Bill No. 319 seeks to address this alarming outflow of doctors and its repercussions by increasing the salary of government physicians and providing additional incentives,” Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization, said in a statement Sunday.

The Philippines was said to be the second leading exporter of doctors to the world, next only to India, Trillanes said citing a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The 2007 study, which was done by the Philippine Health Information Network of the Department of Health (DOH), said that “the Philippines has traditionally been a major source of health professionals to many countries because of their fluent English, skills and training, compassions, humaneness and patience in caring.”

“The country is purportedly the leading exporter of nurses to the world (Aiken, 2004) and the second major exporter of physicians (Bach, 2003),” the Philippine Health Information System: Review and Assessment February – July 2007 study said.

It further said that despite the large number of doctors the country is able to churn out, their migration is unparalleled in the history of the country. It was also alarming that doctors were not migrating as physicians but as nurses, the study said.

“Although the country is producing a surplus of health workers for overseas market since the 1960s, the large exodus of nurses in the last four years has been unparalleled in the migration history of the country,” the study said.

“While Filipino physicians have been migrating to the United States since the 1960s and to the Middle East countries in the 1970s in steady outflows, the recent outflows are disturbing because they are no longer migrating as medical doctors but as nurses,” it added.

Trillanes said that public doctors in local government hospitals earn about P26,878 a month at a salary grade of 16 while doctors conferred by the DOH earn P39,493 at a salary grade of 21.

Their low salary was the reason why many doctors are seeking higher-paying jobs abroad, he said.

“This does not do justice to our hardworking doctors who have spent years in their studies and whose duties go beyond the normal eight-hour workload,” he said.

“The exodus of doctors in the last five years is exacting a toll on the country’s already second-rate health service. The ratio of doctor [to] patients in the Philippines is one doctor per 28,493 patients, a far cry from the ideal 1:1000 ratio prescribed by the WHO,” Trillanes pointed out.

In Trillanes proposed legislation, he wants to increase the minimum base pay of doctors to P62,670 or a salary grade of 27. Doctors will also receive an annual loyalty pay of P50,000 for doctors with at least three consecutive years of service and an educational grant not more than P200,000 for those who have served at least five years continuous service.

They will also get monthly transportation allowance of P10,000 to P18,000 depending on the municipality, food allowance of P5,000 to P12,000 per month, and medical allowance of P5,000 to P10,000, Trillanes said.

According to the study, “The Philippine socioeconomic and political situations have not helped much in retaining licensed and skilled nurses and other health professionals in the country.”

It added that “more than 3,500 Filipino doctors have left as nurses since the year 2000.”

“A little more than 1,500 doctors have passed the national nurse licensure examination in 2003 and 2004,” the study said. “An estimated 4,000 doctors are enrolled in nursing schools all over the country,” it added.

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Tags: brain drain , Filipino doctors , Nation , News , Senator Antonio Trillanes IV , World Health Organization

  • danesreyes

    this is good. in the coming years, the exodus of our physicians and healthcare workers will worsen. right now, the situation in our hospitals is very disheartening. i hope the government will prioritize these kinds of measures. 

  • Taiko_Kauna

    Trill, mas maraming boto na nangagaling sa pasyente kaysa mga doktor. Wrong target

    • poltergeist_fuhrer

      tama…ganito nalang ang gawin ni trillanes…

      if the doctor is asking 300 pesos as professional fee sa pag pa chek-up, the doctor should spent not less than 10 minutes sa kanyang pasyente…

      if 500 pesos, not less than 30 minutes…at wag na wag pagsisigawan ang mga pasyente…

      • nephrite

        I suppose your life is worth less than 300 pesos?

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        nope…my life is priceless…

      • nephrite

        btw, they’ve sacrificed so much of their personal lives, and as the doctor:patient tells you, doctors may not always afford the time that you’re demanding.  or maybe, you had just gone to the not so better doctor…

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        doctors are number 1 tax evader

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    singilin nyo muna sila ng tamang tax

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/hbRkpPw1oYTBJamz.EH7acMZBBVoIlWXriA-#e4348 Felix

    wag na dagdagan ang sahod nila at hayaan na lang mag abroad para kumita ng mas malaki. ang pera ay mas mabuting gamitin sa pag aaral ng mga magiging bagong doktor na kailangan manggamot muna sa pilipinas bago mag abroad kung gusto mag abroad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.faderon Jose Vicente A. Faderon

    sana kasama na rin ang mga nurses and other health care workers

    • nephrite

      sana kasama lahat…

  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    mayayaman n ang mga doctors dito sa pinas a….hindi nga bumabayad ng tax…isang minuto pa check-up worth 300 pesos agad…at walang resibo binibigay….

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ME73SJ2KNVTMNU4JMRMRLRYPVQ zom

      kainggit nga, sa medical city, 1.1k per visit! hahaha! pila balde pa mga pasyente @_@

      • nephrite

        because the institution that employs them undercomensates them, so sa private babawi but the proposal may address that. 

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        doctors are abusive..and patients are always at the mercy of them…

    • nephrite

      oh, you didn’t take into consideration how, to many doctors, charity patients are the bulk of their work.  undercompensated na nga, hinahabol pa ng BIR na parang kriminal!  

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        hindi ba kriminal ang TAX EVADER???

        undersompensated ba ang naka kotse at nakitira sa magagarang bahay????

        tell me of a doctor na walang kotse???

  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    if the doctor is asking 300 pesos as professional fee sa pag pa chek-up, the doctor should spend not less than 10 minutes sa kanyang pasyente…
    if 500 pesos, not less than 30 minutes…at wag na wag pagsisigawan ang mga pasyente…

    and the BIR should strictly implement the receipt policy…

    • RNKR2005

      Some salons and barber shops charge as much as doctors.  Yet nobody dies or gets sick from a bad haircut. If you force doctors to stretch out a consultation to 30 mins for a simple cough, some patiens will have to wait until late into the night because they are #30 on the list…

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        have u seen a doctor that after 5 hours of waiting the doctor to come and during the consultation, it only took 5 minutes na may kasama pang pasigaw sigaw…

      • RNKR2005

        That doctor is not worth your time or money. I’m sure his/her excuse for being rude to a patient/client is usually the same as other workers serving lots of customers (eg. govt. employees facing hundreds of customers in LTO, BIR, etc.), but that is still not a reason for disrespecting a client, especially a paying customer. To be honest about it, I know of some surgeons who have performed surgeries with complications because of their own mistakes (which is an inherent risk of any type of surgery), but the doctor still has the gall of raising his voice and blaming the patient for the complication. In short, patients are just like any other customer in any other enterprise: if the service is not good enough, they are free to look for another doctor. But needlessly stretching a consultation to a minimum amount of time just because a patient is paying a certain amount doesn’t just waste the doctor’s time, it prolongs the waiting time of patients who are further down the list. Duration of consult should be dependent on the symptoms, previous medical history and extent of physical examination needed to perform, not according to a doctor’s professional fee.

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        Duration of consult should be dependent on the symptoms, previous medical history and extent of physical examination needed to perform, not according to a doctor’s professional fee.


        ive seen a patient waited for almost 2 hours, in a wheel chair, naglalaway na ang bibig kasi ung half of his body is dead already…after 2 hrs of waiting..at last, dumating ung doctor, without hi or hello…the patients still waits for another 30 minutes for his turn…after that long hours of waiting, pumasok na siya…to the shcok of many, lumabas after 5 MINUTES na may dala ng prescription…and will pay for 500 pesos consultation fee….pwede ba yan???

      • RNKR2005

        Oh I see. From that case, you were able to deduce that doctors act as if they were gifts from god. Glad you cleared that

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        not gifts from god but acting as god..idiot

      • RNKR2005

        I was wondering when the insult would start flying. From the very first comment you posted, I had a feeling that you were the type of person who would use an insult for an argument.  As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait too long.

        PS. You can lambast that particular doctor all you want, but to assign whatever you saw wrong with that doctor to all other doctors is stretching things too much

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        speaking the truth is not an insult…u were hurt by the truth and u’ll say it is an insult…

      • RNKR2005

        You thought I was hurt by that? I was waiting for such a comment for the past 2 days. Sorry to disappoint you. 
        Para matapos na ang usapan, isumbong mo ang doktor na iyon kay Korina Sanchez. Sigurado sympathetic siya, galit siya sa lahat ng Pinoy na doctor

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        u ask and observe one (AT LEAST ONE) poorest of the poor…ask them how they view / feel the doctors…doctors for these poorest of the poor are like gods…and yet, they tend to abuse the respect rendered to them…that is the reality

      • RNKR2005

        Your statements are blatant generalizations of how all doctors act like gods on all poorest of the poor patients. Is it acting like a god to pick up a blind vagrant from the sidewalk, put him in a hospital, perform cataract surgery on him, and let him go home with a clear vision less than 24 hours FREE OF CHARGE? You make generalized statements from isolated cases and probably personal experiences, and yet you have no idea that there are some who do selfless acts without any recognition of their contribution.

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        recognition? goodness…madami na sila niyan…kaya nga they act like gods…

        and is it noble that they charge a pulubi worth 300 pesos???at papagalitan pa???

        at ang yayaman na nila…dba???tas, tax evader pa…

      • RNKR2005

        Not all doctors receive recognition for a selfless effort. Neither do many doctors look for it.  The doctors who performed that free cataract surgery didn’t receive any praise for it except for a self satisfaction that they helped someone else.
        Hindi lahat ng doctors mayaman.  You are so clueless…
        Mga pulubi, pwede pumunta sa goverment hospital for free consultations with government employed doctors.  If they choose see private practicing doctors, they should be ready to pay the doctor’s fees. Nobody is forced to return to a doctor that they do not want to pay his/her services for…
        Hindi lahat na nagbibihis na parang pulubi ay pulubi. Maraming ang nagpupunta sa doctor na tsinelas, shirt and shorts lang pero meron sila tindahan sa Greenhills. Ang tao gagawa ng paraan para lang mabawas sa gastos….
        Hindi ko sinasabi na lahat ng doktor maayos, mabuti, mabait at responsable. Pero sa pananalita mo, parang ang sasama ng lahat ng mga doktor.  Sana palagi kang mabait, responsable, maasikaso, mapagbigay, at higit sa lahat nagbabayad ng tamang buwis para paghusgahan ang ibang tao…

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        i am asking, give me a name of a doctor na walang kotse…lalo na mga anaesthesiologists…

      • RNKR2005

        Humihingi ka ng pangalan ng ibang tao sa forum na ito pero hindi mo nilalagay ang totoong pangalan mo?  Wala ako karapatan sabihin pangalan ng ibang tao dito kasi meron sila right to privacy. Majority ng doktor meron kotse, oo. Pero meron iba na wala. Anesthesiologist, lalo sila nangangailangan ng sariling sasakyan kasi puwede sila tawagin sa kung saan saan na ospital sa kahit anong oras.
        Ang mga doctors to the barrio na makikinabang sa proposal ni Sen. Trillanes, mas madadalian na sila bumili ng sasakyan (kung hindi nila gagamitin ang pera nila pambili ng medical supplies ng barrio nila)

  • Jake Macabadbad

    maganda po yan Sen para sa government physicians!!!  sa mga private physicians, kailangan tamang tax!

    • ed_nique

      not all private practitioners make big bucks, many also leave to work abroad

  • allyson_yan

    nice move. hindi lang once ko narinig from family and friends abroad na iba pa rin talaga ang galing ng Filipino doctors. Kaya dapat lang na iprioritize ang welfare nila para hindi na nila kailangan umalis to seek greener pasteur

  • johnlordphilip

    Good job Mr. Senator! I hope it will move fast enough so we can retain more doctors in the country before the health situation become more alarmingly bad for our people.

  • Lara Co

    Nice piece of legislation. keep it up!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AH7MNEFRF4G4ZQ6PA2OE4Z3BEU Verlito

    Push for more local generation of quality jobs in the medical fields particularly for the younger generation of medical practitioners in the Philippines..

  • josexxxx

    good move senator. Medyo di bilib ako sa iyo formerly pero parang ok na move yan. Health services depends on doctors. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TJQY6FTCUY6JQNCKCGVOT2FSUM nanz

    Tama lang yan. kasi most of our Doctors are in a hurry to go abroad for a greener pasture. Sayang yung kaalaman nila, na dito sila sa Pilipinas nagpakadalubhasa, tapos iba lang ang makikinabang…GOOD JOB Senator!

  • poltergeist_fuhrer

    sabay saby lumabas ang mga propagandista ni trillanes dito a…lumalabas lang kayo kapag may article si trillanes…magkano ba per post ninyo???makasali nga…haha

  • yonoh

    Sama muna mga teacher senator………kawawa naman sila di makabuhay sa 20k na sweldo minus tax at iba pa…………………minsan nangungutang na lang sa patuboan…………

  • nyukradaregg

    Why not started it from the lower side of Society..the laborer 1st before it goes to the top.. if we make it 1st to the bottom then it goes al the way up..

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ME73SJ2KNVTMNU4JMRMRLRYPVQ zom

      pinakamagandang comment

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SFRAGCB74P6E6VW5S6NLV3F7BU Michael Angelo

    A very intelligent move by the senator. Well done.

  • peter_payper

    tama yan, kung maayos ang compensation, walang magsisialisang professionals dito sa atin! alagan ang human resources.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MEI2VZOCPGKA62EEHMX3T5MQHI Roxanne

    maganda ang maidudulot nito sa ating mga doktor. di ko gusto ang idea na nag-aaral sila na maging nurse para lang makapag abroad sa kagustuahang kumita ng malaki.

  • duchess bee

    great job senator!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004769917231 Maine Tine

    Well done, Senator Trillanes! we believe that this bill will help address the issue of brain drain when it comes to our doctors. thank you, Senator!

  • Your_King

    Trillanes still in the government just proves how politicians ultimately only care about themselves and the group that they belong to. It’s weird how Trillanes could be considered as one of the President’s men.

  • ThudOthwacker

    See now people. The annual 3 billion pesos for RH Law is just the tip of the iceberg. What you don’t see is the scariest thing, a.k.a hidden cost.

    Is this how they balance the budget? Taxing the people beyond its means. And earmark the collected tax to fund programs costing 3 times more on the projected collection.

    Watch Maggie Thatcher on tax payers money  ”watch?v=xvz8tg4MVpA”

    No wonder public doctor supported the RB law. Because they are next in line.

  • Binibiningmaldita

    galing mo naman senator!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UPBI3ESYPHNYH72R3544I564UM Minnette

    para sa akin okay itong naisipan ni senator…. para naman yung mga kapwa natin pilipino ang nakikinabang sa galing ng mga pilipinong doktor… hindi mga banyaga…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YCYONFMWDQZJ55JE5RAUSEUFHQ bong

    This is a good move. This is true. I am a physician currently working in Africa. Many of our fellowmen have a wrong notion that if you are a doctor in the Philippines., you are automatically rich and have lots of money.
    It is very hard to become a doctor. 4 to 5  years of pre -med. 3 years of Medical School. 2 years of Internship.Then 3-5 years of residency (specialty). Then 1-2 years of sub-specialty.
    It takes a lot of time away from family and friends. A lot of sacrifice..working during Christmas,New year, birthdays,etc.

    During Medical School (1st to 3rd year) we had examinations every 2 weeks. Failing 1 subject (module) means repeating the year, failing 2 could get one kicked-out.

    During Junior Internship our duties was 34 hours every other day. Meaning, if you come to the hospital on a Monday at 7am,you come home Tuesday 5 pm, then go back on duty on  Wednesday 7am ,go home 5pm Thursday and so on…we are lucky if duty was every 3 days, you will have a day when you are in the hospital for only 10 hours. Mind you there is NO salary for this,we actually STILL pay tuition fee for doing this.  During Senior Internship though,there is no tuition fee, but still has to go through the same kind of duties,and still NO salary.

    During residency, same kind of loooong hours. In private hospitals salaries ranges from P10 to 15k (plus salary deductions),(more than a call center agent makes),take home around 4-7k every 15th and 30th. In public hospitals residency allowances is higher (20-30k plus deductions).There is NO overtime pay.No hazard pay. No 13th month pay.No health insurance.Lucky if there is Christmas bonus.

    After finishing residency,it is back to square one since one has to find a hospital to start a private practice. If one decides to go to the big hospitals expect to shell out 1 to 1.5 million php for stocks,this does not include the clinic that could cost 1-3 million Php .Also it does not include cost for maintenance fees and secretary fees. For smaller hospitals stocks would cost around 200k to 400k.Still does not include the clinic fees.

    Total amount spent before that doctor saw you and got your P300:
    These are my actual tuition:
    Pre med (BS BIOLOGY,mid 90′s)
    1st  year: 16k x 2 semester = 32k
    2nd year 19k x 2 semester = 38
    3rd year 23k x 2= 46k
    4th year 26k x 2 semester = 52
    TOTAL: 168k

    Medical school plus 1 year Junior internship (late 90′s early 2000)
    33k x 8= 264k

    Does not include allowances,transport,uniform ,books,etc.

    If one can afford (re: rich parents) to get a clinic in a big hospital (Medical City,St. Luke’s Global),(has a good training,has a lot of connections),then he/she shells out around 2 to 4.5 million,BEFORE even starting a practice.

    So , do you think your payment of P300 to P500 is worth it?

    Being a doctor is a calling. Not anyone can be one (our batch started 300 plus, finished only with around 190).

    There is also what we call as “Moonlighting” for newly passed medical doctors.One works mostly in small hospitals and get paid P1500-3000 / 24 hour duty. If one works as a GP for clinics ( cards like Intellicare, Medicard,etc.) ,the usual ranges from P500-1000 for 8 hour work. For school physicians 2 1/2 day work per week pays 10k a month minus deductions (SSS,PagIbig,etc).Many get stuck to this and do not specialize anymore (re: need to support a family)..This does not make a doctor “rich”.

    In mid 2000′s doctors studying to become and work as nurses peaked,but recently has slowed down due to the US recession, and visas were restricted.

    With the rising costs of basic commodities,tuition fees,gasoline,etc. , many doctors like me have decided and has sacrificed working abroad to give our families a better and more stable future.If this legislation pushes through, then this could be a path for us to go home…….

  • ed_nique

    “The exodus of doctors in the last five years is exacting a toll on the country’s already second-rate health service. The ratio of doctor [to] patients in the Philippines is one doctor per 28,493 patients, a far cry from the ideal 1:1000 ratio prescribed by the WHO,” Trillanes pointed out.

    nice proposal, worthy objective … keep our doctors here by enticing them with increased salaries to work in government hospitals, P 62,670/mo (SG 27). how will this be funded?

    can the government afford this? how many will be hired? let’s presume that the 1,500 doctors who passed the nursing board in 2003 and 2004 will be hired. the government will be paying them about P 94 M/month or P 1.128 B/annum just for their basic pay. then there are the allowances provided by existing laws as well as those provided under this bill.

    the government will also have to make provisions in it’s budget for the increase in salary of those already in service. as provided under this bill it will be a 59% increase for nationally paid doctors, and a whopping 233% for locally paid doctors.

    i hope the DOH will be able to meet the expected increase in their budget for salary without sacrificing the other services to be extended to their patients.

    lastly, is the proposed salary really enticing enough to lure doctors to stay in the country and join government service? if i’m not mistaken this is something like USD 1,500, many nurses working abroad make much more than this amount.

    i remember a topnotcher inthe physicians board examswho still went abroad to work as a nurse, because in the end it was still about the money.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YCYONFMWDQZJ55JE5RAUSEUFHQ bong

      Sir the sad truth is yes.Doctors/nurses leave the country because of the money.Just like the 2.2 million registered OFW’s are leaving the country and working abroad to make a living.But given the same opportunity in our motherland, I tell you based on my experience that not one of these “bayani’s” will leave and sacrifice time away from their families…it is the state of the economy that drives Filipinos away..

  • disqusted0fu

    If Sen. Trillanes is sincere in this, it is a good proposal I suppose. By the way, if I may just ask, what happened with his back-channeling with China?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z4NJN6TLDBJEZBHMPTRMXEIFCU Marlene

    i would like to commend the senator for this bill

  • RNKR2005

    Not all government doctors receive a salary

  • juandelacruzii

    salamat naman at may nakapansin sa hirap ng ating mga doktor! sa inyo magsiuwian na kayo sa pinas mas kailangan namin kayo dito. 

  • robert_tan

    we truly need leigslation like this to encourage our professional kababayans to serve the country and its people more. the idea is giving enough credit where it’s due.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P2DTZ2X7VCHEVWISBZNICIY2OA Andrea

    the senator has recognized that the doctors need a proportionate increase of wages. let’s rally behind him!

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