President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the resumption of face-to-face (F2F) classes for medical and allied health programs in higher education institutions in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ areas, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after the Commission on Higher Education approved the return to limited F2F classes for students of medicine and allied health sciences as well as universities in areas under MGCQ.
“This will be done in med schools, medical allied programs in higher educational institutions in MGCQ and for higher educational institutions in GCQ areas with base hospitals that cater to Covid-19 patients,” Roque said.
He said this is to ensure that the country will have enough doctors amid the prevailing pandemic.
“This is to ensure that we don’t run out of doctors if we won’t allow face-to-face classes among doctors and allied professionals,” he added.
Asked on the possibility that Duterte would withdraw the resumption of F2F classes for medical and allied health programs, Roque emphasized the need for doctors in the country.
“The reason why we need to train doctors is obvious because if we don’t continue, the time will come when we won’t have any graduates. And at the time of pandemic, we need all the doctors we can have,” he said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier allowed the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine to resume its F2F clinical internship at the UP-Philippine General Hospital.
On March 14, 2020, the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges gave out a directive to pull out medical interns out of all hospitals in Metro Manila. However, over 100 interns at the PGH volunteered to go back on-duty to help the patients and the remaining healthcare workers in the hospital.*PNA