Masbate Rep. Kho seeks to encourage doctors to work in PH

A House member is seeking the exemption of doctors from the coverage of the Salary Standardization Law to provide them with a more competitive salary structure and discourage them from leaving the country in search of a better life.
Rep. Elisa Kho
Photo: Congress
Hon. Elisa T. KhoRep. Elisa Kho (2nd District, Masbate) said her proposal to provide doctors with a more competitive remuneration instead of having them covered by the Salary Standardization Law, will encourage medical doctors to work in government hospitals and clinics instead of working abroad.

"This will discourage our medical professionals from leaving the country and at the same time address the government's crisis in the workforce leading to provide quality health care and services for the Filipinos," said Kho, who is a doctor herself.

Based on the data from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), she cited there are currently 72,000 licensed doctors in the country, making a ratio of seven doctors per 10,000 patients or one physician to 1,429 people.

"This is way below the standard ratio prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) of 1 to 1,000. The shortage is even more evident in rural areas where only one doctor is available to serve 33,000 people," said Kho.

She said the shortage is a result of the decision of medical professionals to leave the country because of economic needs, lower salaries and inhumane working conditions. "With our doctors migrating, the Philippines is said to be the second biggest importer of doctors in the world," Kho said.

Kho said her proposal is in line with the State policy and responsibility to provide quality health care and services to the people through the retention of highly qualified practitioners by providing them with adequate remuneration and benefits.

In House Bill 4101, Kho proposed the granting of exemption of public hospital doctors from the coverage of Republic Act 6758, otherwise known as Salary Standardization Law, and enable the Department of Health (DOH) to come up with a salary structure for doctors that is responsive enough to let them cope with the demands of rising costs of living.

The bill now pending at the House Committee on Appropriations chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab (3rd District, Davao City) provides that all doctors with proper employment requirements and documents in the government service and passed the Board of Examinations for Medical Doctors with permanent status shall be eligible.

It further provides that the DOH, in consultation with the Department of Budget and Management (DBP), shall study, review, analyze, revise, adjust and implement a comprehensive and competitive salary structure for public hospital doctors, independent from the provisions of RA 6758. ( Rowena B. Bundang, Media Relations Service-PRIB)

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