Marcos reiterates call for 'ladderized' program for healthcare workers vs ‘brain drain’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. reiterated his call for a "ladderized" program for health care workers in the country to help “keep them here.”

“You can’t hold people back from a better life, a better future… It’s fair that you provide scholarships,” the President told Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) officials in a meeting on Thursday.

“We just have to find ways to keep them here,” he pointed out.

The chief executive in early August backed the proposal introduced during a meeting with members of the PSAC in Malacañang.

Marcos again raised the issue to PSAC, citing the need to strengthen collaboration between the public and private sectors to boost the country’s health sector.

Developments on the “ladderized” program for medical workers, including scholarship grants and benefits, were discussed.

Health OIC Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government is looking at “bilateral partners” to provide scholarship programs for medical students and professionals.

“Part of these discussions would be that with our bilateral relationships… we will have exchange programs or exchange conditions,” said Vergeire.

She added that improving scholarship programs for Filipino healthcare workers is also vital to addressing the concerns in the healthcare workforce.

Marcos also tasked the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to check “best practices” and include digitalization initiatives to help improve health insurance operations and offering health benefits.

A group of private hospitals previously called on the government to limit the deployment of healthcare workers abroad amid manpower shortages in medical and health facilities. 

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