Senator Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino lauded the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for allowing the 1,500 new medical graduates to be given special authorization as doctors and to be deployed to the public hospitals in the battle against the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), following the recent statement of IATF Spokesperson Karlo Nograles that they have adopted the Interim Guidelines for the Granting of Special Authorization for the Limited Practice of Medical Graduates as presented by the Department of Health (DOH).
For the last several weeks, Tolentino has been calling for the DOH to deploy the graduates of medical schools in the Philippines and authorize them for a limited practice of medicine, without having them finish their licensure examination, pursuant to Sec. 12 of Republic Act No. 2382 or the Medical Act of 1959, as amended. Said law provides that “certificates of registration shall not be required of…medical students who have completed the first four years of medical course, graduates of medicine and registered nurses who may be given limited and special authorization by the secretary of health to render medical services during epidemics or national emergencies xxx.”
The lawmaker noted that in the Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) scheduled on March this year, the 1, 524 new medicine graduates were only able to the exam on March 8 and 9 but not on March 15 and 16 due to the pandemic.
Furthermore, having already finished one year of their medical internship and having obtained their diplomas, he said that these medical school graduates are sufficiently equipped to support our health care workers in the public hospitals and that they shall be a big help to our fight against the pandemic.
The lawmaker added that they are likewise entitled to compensation and appropriate protective medical equipment from the national government, pursuant to Rep. Act No.11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Sa Italy, ginawa na nila ito. Hindi na nila pinatake ng licensure examination ang 10,000 nilang medical graduates at pinayagan na silang maging ganap na mga doktor para agad silang makatulong sa COVID-19 health crisis nila duon,” Tolentino explained.
“Allowing these medical graduates to serve in the frontlines of the war against COVID-19 will be the highest form of patriotism for these young people as they serve not only the nation but ultimately the whole of humanity, as well,” he stated./Stacy Ang