Press Release
November 30, 2019

SP Sotto backs creation of first state-run medical school in Cebu

To close the gap of doctor-patient ratio in the province, a move is underway to build a state-funded medical college in Cebu.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III backs the proposal to establish the Cebu Normal University - Vicente Sotto Medical Center College of Medicine in the province to address the lack of doctors in every hospital in Central Visayas.

"Putting up CNU-VSMMC College of Medicine in Cebu is a welcome development. I will definitely support its funding through the General Appropriations Bill that will be submitted and approved in the Senate," Sotto said upon hearing the move.

VSMMC medical center chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino said the doctor-patient ratio in Central Visayas (Region 7) is 1:28,341, which is far from the ideal 1:100 ratio for Primary Health Care delivery, which is also the goal of the Universal Health Care Act.

"Most of the doctors would opt to work in urban centers, leaving many in the rural areas unable to see a medical doctor easily," said Aquino.

The CNU and VSMMC administrators met last year to establish the College of Medicine, which is currently in the process of applying for a permit under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for its five-year degree program in Doctor of Medicine with Masters in Public Health Governance.

"We target to begin classes in August 2020 at the Medical Center's Cancer Center while we await for the approval of the budget allocation under the General Appropriation Act in the coming years," said Aquino

Aquino said they have met with the CHED Technical Committee for Medical Education as part of the school's application process.

Secretary Michael Diño, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, in a letter to CHED chair Prospero De Vera III dated September 17, 2019, said the establishment of a medical college in Cebu is one of the solutions for the shortage of doctors in the region.

"With the establishment of a medical state college, we can steadily close the gap of the doctor-patient ratio that is ideal for the primary health care of the country, especially for public health care in the countryside," Diño said.

The first state-funded medical College in Central Visayas will be built at the VSMMC in Cebu City.

The 5-year program of Doctor of Medicine with Masters in Public Health Governance degree is expected to produce doctors who are not only experts in delivering services but also transformative leaders in health governance, Diño said.

Students who can avail of the program are the less fortunate and must render a five-year return of service for rural areas government facilities or health centers in exchange for the free admission in the medical school.

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