Lawmakers eye creation of Medical Reserve Corps
MANILA, Philippines — There are at least four proposals in the House of Representatives seeking to establish a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) that would enlist “nonpracticing but qualified” medical workers during national emergencies, said House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday.
Cayetano said the proposed MRC would be composed of Filipinos with degrees in medicine, nursing, medical technology and other health-related fields but have yet to obtain a license to practice due to various reasons.
“We have so many capable kababayans (countrymen) from the medical community who are willing to help and are just waiting to be tapped. All we need to do is to institutionally allow them to do so,” he said.
Citing data from the Philippine Medical Association, Cayetano said the Philippines currently had one doctor for about 1,300 patients, which, he said, was “way below” the ideal physician-to-patient ratio of one doctor for every 800 patients set by the World Health Organization.
According to Cayetano, the Department of Labor and Employment also reported that about 16 to 19 percent of Filipino doctors and nurses have left the country because of low salaries.
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