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Sulit bayad! Recto: Gov’t can afford to sponsor studies of aspiring doctors

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Sponsoring the studies of Filipinos who want to be doctors is just a drop in the bucket for the government but will be a worthy investment, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

In his vote speech on the Medical Scholarship Bill the Senate passed on Monday (September 14), Recto said the cost of producing doctors is lower than this year’s P9.6-billion Intelligence and Confidential Fund, the P20.1-billion Travel Fund and the P1.2-trillion Personal Services budget.

Recto said that if the budgets of many “inconsequential agencies are seen as an expense vital to democracy, then why should medical scholarships be disparaged as a nonessential luxury?”

With a population of 106.9 million, the country lacks 78,400 doctors, according to a Department of Health report based on a 10 doctors per 10,000 people ratio.

Recto said that more physicians would mean more champions of primary and preventive medicine on the ground.

“The stress on the preventative will nip sickness in the bud, and from a fiscal health point of view, save money for the government,” he said.

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