As medical board exams draw near, students reiterate postponement calls

Published September 1, 2021, 5:27 PM

by Gabriela Baron

As the September 2021 Physician Licensure Exam (PLE) draws near, board exam takers, doctors, and their supporters on Wednesday, Sept. 1, reiterated their pleas to postpone the test.


Citing the continuous soar in COVID-19 infections, the Philippines Medical Students’ Association (PMSA) and National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) called on the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and Department of Health (DOH) to reschedule the PLE.

“We are in continuously worsening COVID-19 situation and we cannot discount the fact that the lives of our PLE takers will be at stake should the 4-day-face-to-face PLE push through,” PMSA National Vice Chairperson Joyce Brillantes said.

Meanwhile, #PostponeSeptPLE has been one of the trending hashtags on Twitter.

“Why #PostponeSeptPLE? The PLE is not the be-all and end-all that would solve the lack of manpower in our health care system right now. Offer plantilla positions, provide fair and adequate compensation, and ensure the safety of our health care workers,” Claude Joseph Payad, a PLE taker, wrote.

“It simply doesn’t make sense. Nasa gitna tayo ng surge pero magco-conduct kayo ng gantong event kung saan tatas ang mobility ng tao at yung risk na magkakalat ng virus? Tapos ang sagot niyo sa surge eh magdagdag ng doctor? Hindi ba prevention at maayos na pagbabakuna? (We are in the middle of a surge but you will conduct such even where mobility and the risk of spreading the virus will increase? Then your answer to the surge is to add more doctor? Isn’t prevention and proper vaccination enough?)” Billi Gayados, another PLE taker, added.

PMSA and NUSP reiterated their calls to postpone the exam at a later date “when COVID-19 cases are not skyrocketing.

“The Commission and the government should not see our future doctors as mere supply that should be produced to add to the health workforce. They are not commodities but people who have a right to health and safety,” Brillantes ended.