Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a bill that seeks to provide for a more responsive and comprehensive regulation for the practice of the medical profession, which would include upgraded standards on basic medical education, medical internship, and post-graduate medical education and training.
Senate Bill No. 953 or the Physicians Act seeks the creation of the Medical Education Council (MEC) under the administrative supervision of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The MEC’s functions will include the determination of the minimum required curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Medicine, including internship.
The MEC’s other functions include the recognition and authorization of the opening of new medical schools upon compliance with minimum requirements. It will also determine, among others, the minimum number and standard qualifications of administrative and teaching personnel, and the minimum requirements for admission into a recognized college of medicine.
“Medicine, as a branch of health science, is always in a flux of development in education, practice, technology, and systems. Thus, the Practice of Medicine’s governing law must be appropriate and responsive to the ever changing educational, economic, societal, technological, and scientific Innovations, and global advancements,” said Gatchalian in the bill’s explanatory note.
Gatchalian’s bill also seeks the creation of the Professional Regulatory Board of Medicine (PRBM) under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), whose functions will include the supervision, regulation, and monitoring of the practice of medicine in the Philippines, including telemedicine. The PRBM will also conduct the Physician Licensure Examination (PLE), and determine and evaluate qualifications of the applicants for the PLE.
The proposed measure also creates the Post-Graduate Medical Education Council (PGMEC) under the PRBM, which shall ensure the quality of post-graduate medical education and training for all disciplines, specialties, and sub-specialties of medical residents.
Under the proposal, the entire medical profession will be under the Integrated National Professional Organization of Physicians (INPOP), which will have the power to investigate violations of this Act, Code of Ethics, as well as pertinent rules and regulations, administrative policies, orders, and issuances.
Gatchalian’s proposed measure also addresses policies that have long been absent in existing laws on the medical profession: opening up the practice of profession to foreigners conditioned on reciprocity; providing for penalties for illegal practice of medicine; and stipulating a definition of medical malpractice and the corresponding penalties for such.