Tarlac hospital losing internists; doctors alarmed
The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has expressed some concern over the continuing crisis at the Tarlac Provincial Hospital (TPH), saying that the exodus of internal medicine consultants from the health facility may affect its residency training program.
“The PCP is deeply concerned about the future of the training program in internal medicine at the TPH since the minimum requirement for accreditation is the appointment of a set number of fellows and residents, which we believe, at this time, is less than ideal,” said PCP president Dr. Mariano Lopez in a statement.
The TPH could lose its accreditation if these requirements were to be compromised, he said.
The PCP is the lead organization in the residency training program for internal medicine and approves the accreditation of hospitals conducting this training based on the required number of consultants in the hospital’s department of medicine, services rendered, and patient exposure, among others.
“Our thrust in promoting the residency training of future internists in a great number of hospitals in most regions has been integral to our mission and vision and serves as a source of hope for our underserved countrymen,” said Lopez.
TPH doctors and nonmedical workers have been protesting the withholding of their pooled professional fees from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), which for years have been divided among them to augment their salaries.
In May, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap revised the 70- to 30-percent division scheme for PhilHealth reimbursements, reducing the amount going to the doctors and nonmedical workers to two percent from 30 percent, citing local autonomy.
The new scheme was implemented by the hospital’s officer in charge Dr. Leonardo Mangahas Jr. Since March 16, a total of P32 million in pooled professional fees has yet to be distributed to the doctors and other employees of TPH.
Some of those who openly resisted the revision have allegedly been terminated from the hospital.
Dr. Antonita de Pano, spokesperson of TPH Doctors Association, said that contractual consultants who sided with the protesting doctors had also been terminated through nonrenewal of their contracts.
The PCP and the Philippine Medical Association last week urged the Department of Health (DOH) and the PhilHealth to step into the controversy to prevent it from escalating and gravely affecting the delivery of services to patients and the training of doctors in the hospital.
Lopez said the PCP was willing to facilitate a dialogue between the protesting doctors and hospital employees and the DOH and PhilHealth to help resolve the problem.
“The PCP is not taking sides on the merits of the case filed against Mangahas. However, we feel that the medical personnel at TPH are being unjustly treated in this case,” added Lopez.
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