As PH logs highest daily COVID-19 tally, calls to postpone medical board exams renewed

Published August 31, 2021, 12:18 PM

by Gabriela Baron

Students renewed their calls to postpone the September 2021 Physicians Licensure Exam (PLE) as the Philippines logged its highest daily tally of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Monday, Aug. 30.


In a joint statement, the Philippine Medical Students’ Association (PMSA) and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) urged the Professional Regulation Commission to postpone the scheduled September 2021 PLE due to the “exponentially growing number of active cases.”

“This very situation that the country is now facing and the predicted worsening of our condition imply impending danger to the examinees’ health. Even with the observance of protocols, we cannot rule out and underestimate the possibility of an outbreak,” the statement read.

The groups stressed that the only time board takers are certain they are not exposed to the virus, is when the COVID-19 cases in the country become “manageable.”

“Choosing to proceed with the exam not only puts the examinees at risk of contracting the virus but also endangers the health and safety of proctors, administrators, and facility personnel, and their relatives and family members whom they might pass on the virus after possible exposure due to the 4-day face-to-face examination,” the statement further read.

“Consequently, this will cause a heavier toll to our health workers on workload and accommodation of patients, given that the majority of hospitals are already in full capacity. The Philippine health sector is not ready for another COVID-19 surge,” it added.

The students also urged the PRC to make an early announcement regarding the possible postponement of the exam or the specific guidelines if they decide to push through with the examination.

“These guidelines are vital as various cities and regions constantly experience changes in community quarantine classifications which the government announces with such short notice.”

READ MORE: Doctors, individuals support students’ call to postpone medical board exams amid soaring COVID-19 cases

The Department of Health reported 22,366 new COVID-19 infections on Monday.