What You Need To Know About The Newly Approved Medical Scholarship Bill

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Education is truly a rewarding investment because it opens a lot of opportunities. Like any business, you would need time, money, and effort in order for it to be successful; hence, education is something you can call a business. A lot of people invest in themselves and in their children for good education. That being said, different professions and careers remain a focus for them. Fields like engineering, business, medicine/medical, and law are the more often programs taken by Filipino students.

Why do you think they choose these programs?

Of course, students pick these fields over others because of the fact that they’re complex. Why would they choose it if it’s complex? One is because of good money; all courses you see above, all of those pay good money. Another is because of the professionalism; medicine, law, engineering, and business all yield a thick strand of professionalism. When someone calls you atty., or dr., or engineer, wouldn’t you feel professional?

At first, they tend to just think about all of the good things it would give them. However, as time passes by, they start to love and to just swallow all of the pros and cons of the course they chose.

It’s known here in our country that doctors are not that many. Although a lot are trying to study medicine, not everyone just have enough funds for that.

Read: Qualifications, Requirements and How to Apply for CHED Scholarship

Last 20th of November, the House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill that mandates medical scholarship program.

The House Bill 6571 or the Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program Act passed in the Congress with 223 affirmative votes. No negative votes nor abstentions.

So what is this bill for?

This program will be responsible for deserving students studying in state colleges and universities (SUCs) or in Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEis). Having the exemption where no SUC offers medicine.

At least one (1) scholar from municipality will be accepted in the program. However, the need and the number of scholars will still depend on the need of the government for doctors in the area as determined by the Department of Health (DOH).

What benefits would the scholars have if they are part of the program?

  • Clothing or uniform allowance;
  • Transportation allowance;
  • Other education-related miscellaneous or living allowances;
  • Annual medical insurance;
  • Free tuition and other school fees;
  • Allowance for prescribed books, supplies, and equipment;
  • Allowance for dormitory or boarding house accommodation;
  • Internship fees, including financial assistance during post-graduate internship; and
  • Medical board review fees;

As you can see, a lot of benefits can be gotten by scholars who would be accepted of the program. One of which would be tuition fee. With that, the problem of funds to enter the medical world is no longer a bigger problem.

Although that’s the case, there also are exemptions that would see fit students who would be deserving of the scholarship:

1. The scholar should finish the entire Doctor of Medicine program in the prescribed time frame in the SUC or PHEi where he/she is enrolled in, subject to the retention policies of the SUC or PHEI;

2. He/She should undertake post-graduate internship in a DOH-accredited public health facility or hospital upon graduation from a four-year Doctor of Medicine program;

3. He/she should serve in a government public health office or government hospital in the scholar’s hometown or in the absence of a need, in any municipality within the scholar’s home province or in any under-served municipality closest to the scholar’s hometown or province determined by the DOH as a priority area, for at least eight years, or two years for every scholarship year availed of; and

4. A return service must be completed within 10 years upon completion of internship for those who have availed of a four-year program, and 12 years for those who have availed of a five-year program, upon passing the licensure examination for physicians, which will be part of the mandatory return service and integration into the public health and medical service system.

In addition to that, there also are other requirements that would see fit grantees of the scholarship;

  • Grantees of the program may have to pay the full tuition fee or may be removed from the program if he/she accepts a different scholarship from a different government agency;
  • If the grantee fails 40% of the subjects or fails to meet academic requirements;
  • Fails to pass for the physician licensure exam for the second (2nd) time;
  • Commits behavioral conduct that would affect the HEI, other people, other government institutions, or the community.

Upon becoming a physician, if he/she fails or refuses to serve the conditions in the program, would have to pay the full cost of the scholarship twice including other expenses and benefits incurred in the scholarship program.

Because of the fact that a lot of Filipinos choose to work abroad, there is a slight shortage and deprivation of doctors here in our country. That being said, this program will eventually be helpful in adding doctors here in our country because it will be a very impactful aid in the educational field.

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