Ilocos Norte Capitol file photo


LAOAG CITY – In an effort to further boost its public healthcare facilities, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte’s hospital and management council invited private medical practitioners to share their expertise as visiting physicians, consultants, and specialists in public hospitals here.

Dr. Rogelio Balbag, executive director of the Ilocos Norte Hospital and Management Council said Friday "there is a need for more doctors at the hospital to ensure that all patients will be provided with basic and adequate health services.”

Under the 2023 provincial government’s budget for healthcare, Balbag said funds will be allocated to fill up the vacant positions for doctors and other medical professionals.

Over the past five years, Ilocos Norte public hospitals are lacking doctors and other specialists because they prefer to work abroad or put up their own clinics in the metro.

While waiting for applicants to fill in the vacant positions, the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with various eligible private medical practitioners to render their services at the provincial hospital in support of the government’s universal healthcare program.

To be eligible for the visiting consultants and specialists program, the private medical practitioner must meet the minimum requirements, such as having a license with the Professional Regulatory Commission, PhilHealth accreditation, and a fellow or diplomate of any specialty society recognized by the Philippine Medical Association, and a notarized income payee’s sworn declaration of gross receipts or sales.

Under the MOU, the private medical practitioner shall avail and make use of the provincial hospital’s facilities, equipment, instruments, and manpower.

In return, they shall actively participate in the hospital’s activities and share their expertise in rendering free services to patients admitted in any basic or ward accommodation.
In the past, some public hospitals in the province had been limiting their services due to the shortage of doctors. (PNA)