A CONGRESSWOMAN on Sunday called on the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to allow medical graduates to take their licensure examinations.
San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes said this would address the shortage of doctors and other medical frontliners in the fight against coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).
Robes pointed out that the PRC had postponed several times the conduct of the Physician Licensure Examinations (PLEs) due to the pandemic.
However, the postponements have affected the response of hospitals to the COVID-19 pandemic because aside from the shortage of doctors, the graduates could not be deployed full time without the required credentials.
It has been reported that the country has a shortage of some 63,000 medical doctors.
This is aside from the anxiety that the graduates have been feeling because their eligibility is still up in the air, Robes said.
“The several postponements have added to the anxiety of medical graduates and interns who were scheduled to take the March 2020 examinations but have been required to help in the anti-COVID-19 efforts of the government without the required eligibility.
The conduct of the examinations and the subsequent passing of the medical interns and graduates will enable them to join the frontliners in full confidence and without the fear of discrimination,” Robes added. The medical graduates were supposed to take their examinations last March 2020 but were unable to do so because the PRC suspended the conduct of all examinations because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Announcements were later made by the PRC Board of Medicine that the board examinations for doctors will push through in September this year.
However, there were several reports that the examinations may again move to November because there is still no definite software platform in the conduct of computer-based examinations.
Robes asked the PRC to hasten the creation of an electronic media platform to be used in the conduct of the PLEs because the subsequent passing of the new graduates “will augment the already depleted and overworked medical frontliners battling the virus in various hospitals and other medical institutions all over the country.”