Press Release
February 26, 2007

Recto bats for new subsidies for medical
students to ease worsening brain drain

BAGUIO CITY Juan dela Cruz spends P2 million to produce a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), when public subsidy for a medical student of the University of the Philippines amounts to only P400,000 for the five-year course.

Meeting with a group of student leaders, Sen. Ralph Recto on Monday said that only through an increase in subsidy for medical students could the government solve the worsening brain drain problem affecting the countrys medial profession.

The senator pointed out that seven of ten Filipino doctors were now working abroad while 6,000 others were studying to become a nurse lured by better paying jobs abroad.

I have already proposed the idea of setting up a different PMAthe Philippine Medical Academy. Perhaps government should seriously look at this pressing concern before we end up losing our professionals serving in the countrys public and private hospitals, he said.

If we are proud to have produced outstanding mistahs from the Philippine Military Academy, we should start training badly needed MDs (medical doctors), he added.

Recto said that government should look into the possibility of designating existing medical schools as academies where government scholars could be trained to become doctors.

They would just have to ask would-be doctors to agree serving for a period in a public health facility in exchange for a full scholarship, he said.

Recto also noted that the situation worsened by the lower enrollment in medical schools in the previous years.

He said that 23 medical schools reported that their enrollment was already down to just 42 per cent of their collective quota.

Recto said that the country needs 10,000 new doctors by 2010 just to cope with the present shortage, not counting the 1,000 to 2,000 doctors who go abroad each year, many as nurses.

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