Senator Francis Tolentino has appealed to health authorities to waive the remaining days of this year’s medical board exam, allowing 1,500 medical school graduates to aid in the fight against COVID-19 as doctors.
Tolentino addressed his letter to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, saying: “In a national health crisis, such as a pandemic, we are also at war, with the lives of our countrymen at stake, and our health workers are on the frontlines, but they need reinforcements now. In such extraordinary times, we need to adopt all measures to save the lives of the Filipino people.”
He called for the 1,542 medicine graduates taking the licensure exam to be “authorized as doctors.” This would be done “upon waiver of the same by the Professional Regulation Commission so that they can be immediately deployed to support government and local government unit (LGU) hospitals. Honorariums and allowances may be provided for by the national government or LGUs.”
Tolentino compared the measure to Italy’s decision to waive their licensure exam for 10,000 medical graduates. However, Italy currently holds 38% of the world’s COVID-19 death toll, only recently surpassing China.
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