DOH asked to consider temporary foreign doctor practice in PH
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino has urged the Department of Health to consider allowing foreign doctors to practice in the country for a limited period.
“Meron namang mga doktor na rehistrado sa ibang bansa na gusto mag-practice for a brief period dito sa ating bansa na espesyalista talaga doon… sandali (lang) sila rito, hindi naman para makipag-compete. Magkakaroon ito ng transfer of technology,” Tolentino said in his weekly DZRH program on Monday.
(There are registered doctors in foreign countries, specialists who want to practice in our country…They’ll only stay here for a brief period. This is not to compete but to have a transfer of technology.)
The legislator asked newly appointed Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, the featured guest of his program, to review the current policy restricting foreign doctors’ ability to work in the country.
Under the law, the Professional Regulation Commission is tasked “to supervise foreign nations who are authorized by existing laws to practice their professions either as holders of a certificate of registration and a professional identification card or a [special temporary] permit in the Philippines.”
The Medical Act of 1959 also limits foreign doctors’ practice of their profession in the country without a registration certificate.
Tolentino argued that many medical specialists, including Filipinos practicing medicine overseas, want to help the country – not just for medical missions but for long-term practice.
He recalled that in the aftermath of the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda, a group of French and Spanish doctors had told him in Tacloban City that they wanted to provide medical assistance to critical patients but were merely limited to giving first aid due to the lack of license to practice in the country.
Herbosa responded that he would speak with the PRC to review the current licensing rules and look into the possibility of temporarily allowing foreign doctors to practice their profession in the country.