Finally, a doctor in every Philippine town

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines will no longer have "doctorless" municipalities by the end of the year, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said yesterday.

Ona said 32 remaining "doctorless" and "very poor" municipalities in Abra, Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Palawan, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan would have their own physician by December through the Department of Health's (DOH) Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) programme.

"The good news is that by the end of this year, all of these so-called doctorless municipalities will be filled," Ona told reporters.

Then Health Secretary Juan Flavier started the DTTB programme in 1993 after it was discovered that there were 271 towns that had no municipal physician for 10 years or more, resulting in high mortality rates in these areas.

However, Ona said the DOH was still trying to determine how to help these remaining towns so that they could someday afford to hire their own municipal doctors.


Related Story: Pinoy doctor elected to UN committee vs. torture


"We hope that in the not-so-distant future, we will be able to essentially have all our local governments become implementers of their own programme. There will no longer be any Doctor to the Barrios programme [directed by Manila]," he added.

"The programme aims to provide equitable healthcare services to all areas of the country by deploying competent, committed, community-oriented and dedicated physicians to serve inaccessible areas," Ona said.

He noted that some of the DTTB doctors could serve up 50,000 people, or more than double the doctor to population ratio of 1:20,000 set by the World Health Organisation.

The DTTB programme encourages new doctors to serve at least two years in far-flung fifth- or sixth-class municipalities that cannot afford to hire their own doctor.

"Since 1993, 553 physicians have served in 390 municipalities all over the Philippines. Presently, our doctors are serving in 68 municipalities in 38 provinces and 16 regions across the country," Ona said.

These doctors also get training from the Development Academy of the Philippines so that they could also get a degree in Master in Public Management, Major in Health Systems and Development.


Related Story: House OKs Stiffer Penalty For Medical Malpractice


"Local government units are the ones who should really be responsible for this but fifth- and sixth-grade municipalities are really quite poor and they claim that they cannot afford to pay [for their own doctor]. So, the national government assists them," Ona said.

He said a new batch of 114 DTTB physicians have just finished their preparations for deployment and 92 of them have already been dispatched to different areas in need of doctors.

"This is important because in our programme of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan [Universal Healthcare], primary care is very important. Meaning, these municipalities should have access to doctors," Ona said.

"Once all poor Filipinos are covered by PhilHeath, these doctors will also be earning. They will have financial sustainability," he added.

Ona said the DOH was also conducting a study to find out if there were municipalities that "graduated" from the programme or were able to secure their own doctor in the last two decades.


Other Story: PH has 1,684 new physicians

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

  • China breaks ground on lighthouse project in South China Sea

    China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Thai, Philippine indexes weak after trade data

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose in line with the rest of Asia on Tuesday but the Thai index pared early gains after weak trade data in April, while the Philippine benchmark ... …

  • Is your home on top of a faultline?
    Is your home on top of a faultline?

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanoly and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently issued an updated and high-resolution "atlas" of the East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault, two major faultlines that run through sections of Metro Manila. Metro Manila may be due for a 7.2-magnitude earthquake within this lifetime, say experts from the institute, among them PHIVOLCS director Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr. According to records, the last major earthquake caused by the West Valley Fault took place 357 years …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options