By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday welcomed Malacañang’s support for his call to investigate the influx of foreign doctors in the country.
Gordon had earlier called on authorities to probe the entry of foreign doctors through a syndicate that facilitates their entry and employment into the country to practice medicine in some hospitals without having the necessary permits.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, also lauded the Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for promptly responding to his call.
He said their immediate action would stop Filipinos from being exposed to foreign doctors who are not authorized to practice medicine here.
“I don’t want the public to be hurt by doctors who are not authorized, under our laws, to see to patients,” Gordon said.
“Hindi dapat ini-experimento ang mga tao, hindi in-expose sa mga di naman dapat humawak sa kanila (People should not be experimented upon, they should not be exposed to people who shouldn’t be handling them in the first place),
“We really have to make sure that this illegal practice is stopped, that’s why I am glad that Malacanang is backing me up on this and that the DOH and the BI are taking immediate action,” he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has already ordered the DOH – Human Resource for Health Development Bureau to look into the issue.
The BI, on the other hand, assured that it would investigate into reports of a syndicate supposedly behind the employment of these foreign doctors in the country.
The senator said reports reaching his office showed that the foreign doctors pay P100,000 per year in order to become a resident in the Philippines and shell out additional P29,000 for room rental in some doctors’ houses.
This was in violation of the reciprocity requirement as stated in Republic Act 2382 or the Medical Act of 1959 and RA 8981 also known as the Professional Regulatory Commission Modernization Act of 2000.
To date, he said, Japan, Spain and the United States are the only countries where the Philippines has reciprocity principals.