NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Three universities have decided to push for the establishment of a medical school in Bohol.
This came after a series of consultation meetings organized by Cong.Edgar Chatto with Holy Name University (HNU), University of Bohol (UB), andBohol Island State University (BISU).
Under the plan, the schools will partner with Gov. CelestinoGallares Memorial Hospital(GCGMH) for the Medical School. The move aims to harmonize plans of universitiesto institutionalize public-private education complementarity in providing qualitymedical education to Boholanos. The private universities and colleges will be thefeeder schools of preparatory medicine courses.
This is in support of the Provincial Government led by Gov Art Yap and Vice GovRene Relampagos whose thrust is to strengthen Bohol’s health system.
Wasting no time, Chatto requested a virtual meeting via Zoom with the Commissionon Higher Education (CHED), BISU, GCGMH, University of the Philippines Collegeof Medicine, Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) Board of Medicine, and theAssociation of Philippine Medical Colleges Foundation, Inc (APMCF).
During this meeting, all agencies manifested very strong support to the plan, which isin accord with the current expansion of the GCGMH facility in Tagbilaran City.
Gallares Hospital Chief Dr. MutyaMacuno said that the proposed medical school willhave spaces for classrooms, auditorium, laboratories under the hospital’s phase 2expansion project. This is also timely with the soon to start construction of the new500 bed Php2.3-B Gallares Medical Center in Cortes, Bohol.
BISU through Dr. RegucivillaPobar has expressed willingness to pursue theestablishment of a medical school with a Technical Working Group already preparingthe needed documents for submission to CHED. The UP College of Medicine and theAPMCF have also pledged to support program and curriculum development or thesoft side of the project including school operational management.
CHED Chair J. Prospero E. de Vera supports the idea as it highlights access to lesscostly medical education for qualified students in remote and underserved areaswhere health systems need to be strengthened.
Chatto is in consultation with CHED hoping to avail of full government supportunder the Doctor Para Sa Bayan Program Law for State Universities and Colleges.
Having consulted university presidents Fr. DudzLero of HNU, Dr. Ryan Tirol of UBand Pobar of BISU, Chatto hopes this can be a model for public-privatecomplementarity in education.
The plan springs from the shortage of physicians in hospitals and Rural Health Unitswhich became more pronounced amid COVID-19 and lockdowns.
With the establishment of the Medical School, qualified and talented youngBoholanos will have access toaffordable government-owned Medical School and theprovince in turn will benefit from being able to produce local doctors.