DOH eyeing to authorize medical graduates to assist COVID-19 response in Cebu City
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is looking at authorizing medical graduates in Central Visayas who have yet to pass board examinations to augment health workers dealing with the coronavirus outbreak in Cebu City.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that licensed doctors will supervise the so-called “interns” should this plan of the DOH materialize.
“That’s what we are looking at right now,” she said in an online press conference on Tuesday when asked if the DOH plans to deputize medical graduates to augment health workers in the city.
“‘Yan ‘yung ating pinapatingnan ngayon sa [DOH] Region 7 dahil meron naman silang medical schools sa kanilang area, kung ilan ang mga interns na ito, at baka sakaling pwede na natin sila gamitin because there is a law naman to support this and they are already trained,” she added.
(That’s what we have asked DOH in Region 7 because the region has medical schools anyway. Maybe we can utilize them, since there is a law about this and they are already trained.)
However, the official said the medical interns will not be assigned to tasks that will require “too much decision-making” that are appropriate only for licensed physicians.
Vergeire bared this plan a day after the DOH in Western Visayas suspended the deployment of 40 rural doctors from the region to Cebu City, following objections from the doctors themselves who cited lack of consultation and familiarity with the COVID-19 situation in the area, among other reasons.
Cebu City has already recorded 5,141 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday. The number of patients who have recovered is at 2,713, while the death toll was registered at 169.
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