February 9, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the government might offer scholarships for nurses and other medical workers to convince them to stay and serve in the Philippines.
During his meeting with representatives of the healthcare cluster of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), Marcos said while the government can’t prevent nurses from leaving for high-paying jobs abroad, those who would avail of the government scholarship program must at least serve their country for a couple of years.
During the meeting, Department of Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, said the agency had started discussions with the deans of the University of the Philippines and other allied healthcare services for the government’s “ladderized” scholarship program.
Vergeire said the program will take two to three years for it to bear the fruit of producing more nurses.
Vergeire also told the President the DOH had initial talks with the Department of Migrant Workers for exchange programs with other countries needing healthcare workers, as well as securing deals with the country’s bilateral partners for scholarships in the Philippines.
“So in turn we are going to propose that if we can provide them with these numbers that they need, they (would) provide us also, for example, scholarships for a number of our healthcare workers here,” Vergeire said.
She said graduates have to stay in the country for two years before they can be deployed abroad.
The PSAC, for its part, expressed commitment to help the Marcos administration in strengthening the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation by providing a third-party assessment that will focus on addressing operational gaps in claims filing, membership application, digitalization and actuarial valuation, among others.
The PSAC also vowed to work with the Food and Drug Administration to upgrade its systems to obtain accreditation with various international regulatory bodies and raise awareness about the value of generic drugs. – PNA