17, 2013

NR # 3198

Government doctors to get salary increase
Here’s good news. Government doctors will get a salary increase under a bill upgrading their present salary grade from level 16 to 24 based on the Salary Standardization Law. House Bill 177 or the Government Doctor’s Salary Upgrading Act of 2013, authored by Bayan Muna Party-List Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate, seeks to encourage more medical professionals to work in the government hospitals instead of going abroad. At present, the monthly salary of resident doctors in government hospitals is P 26,259. Colmenares said if salary grade 16 will be upgraded to salary grade 24, then government doctors will receive P49,750 per month. Citing recent studies, Colmenares said there are only seven doctors for every 200,000 Filipinos, way below the World Health Organization’s standard ratio of 1 doctor to 5,000 patients. “The low salary and poor situation of Filipino doctors in the country does not only push them to leave for abroad, it also discourages students from pursuing a career in medicine,” Colmenares said. He cited the district hospital in Quirino province, which has only two doctors who serve alternately a big number of patients in the area. “How can these doctors serve the needs of their patients in their community when they are only two physicians doing a 24 hours job,” he asked. Colmenares said resident doctors average more than 110 hours a week, more than the mandated hours of work per week under the labor code while municipal doctors are on call 24 hours a day. “The Philippines is the number one exporter of nurses and the number two exporter of doctors in the world. Yet, 7 out of 10 Filipinos die without seeing a health professional,” Colmenares said. (30) mrs