Cebu

Central Visayas gets first state-funded medicine school

John Sitchon
Central Visayas gets first state-funded medicine school

HEALTHCARE. Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., chief of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, says the new College of Medicine can help boost the quantity of doctors practicing in Cebu.

Screenshot from VSMMC livestream

The Commission on Higher Education approves the new College of Medicine by the Cebu Normal University and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center

The Cebu Normal University (CNU) and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) announced on Monday, May 24, that they will be officially accepting students for their College of Medicine in August.

“Today we declare victory for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), led by Chair Popoy, Cebu Normal University, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, and the stakeholders of the Central Visayas and the Philippines as we present to you the first-ever state-funded college of medicine in Central Visayas,” said CNU officer-in-charge Dr. Filomena Dayagbil.

On May 11, CHED’s commission en banc, led by chairperson Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III, gave the new College of Medicine approval to open its first semester this year.

Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., chief of VSMMC, said it is important that the college be established in order to address the healthcare landscape and to boost the quantity of doctors practicing in Cebu.

“There is a current shortage and maldistribution of physicians in our midst as most doctors are concentrated in our urban centers. In Cebu alone, there are only 2,051 doctors in active practice as of 2017, 72% of whom practice in Cebu City. This left a little over 500 doctors actively serving in the province, with only one in some towns,” he added.

According to him, this prompted VSMMC three years ago to approach CNU in order to open a college of medicine through a consortium.

Dayagbil said that one section of 40 students will be opened and that they are prioritizing applicants from Central Visayas. Aquino also said the students will be having their classes in VSMMC’s newest building that is set to be finished within the year.

Students accepted into the college will have the opportunity to be granted government-subsidized medical education scholarships by virtue of Republic Act No. 11509, otherwise known as the “Doktor Para Sa Bayan” Act.

“We really need doctors in the peripheries so with this program, we will be targeting possible by the return of service [by the students], we will have the doctors available at the peripheral hospitals,” Aquino said.

To learn more about admission requirements, you can check details here. – Rappler.com