Not many Filipinos know that foreign doctors are BANNED, by law, to practice here in the Philippines. However, foreign doctors may conduct medical missions (or practice medicine in the name of charity) in the Philippines provided they meet certain RECIPROCITY requirements. Which means that foreign physicians, whose country grants reciprocity for Filipino physicians to practice, may be given Special Permits by the Professional Regulation Commission.
- WATCH related video HERE.
German laws FULLY ALLOW foreign professionals, including Filipino doctors, to practice in Germany.
According to the Department of Health, the Special Permit may only be given to a foreign applicant after complying with certain qualifications and requirements, and that the permit is valid only for one year. I believe the fastest way to conduct medical mission in the Philippines to help super-typhoon victims is to send a HOSPITAL SHIP (see photo below) and conduct the mission just outside RP’s territorial waters.
Here are LEGAL FACTS about job protectionism/regulations in the Philippines:
- Foreign doctors are LEGALLY BANNED to practice in the country.
- But there’s one exemption to the rule: To conduct medical mission here, foreign physicians must meet certain reciprocity requirements.
- Only foreign physicians whose country grants reciprocity for Philippine physicians to practice, may be granted Special Permits by the PRC.
Foreign doctors and medical groups intending to provide health care services in any areas in the Philippines must comply with the following regulations:
- Sponsors of foreign medical and surgical missions must obtain clearance from the Office of the Secretary of Health, through the Bureau of International Health Cooperation (BIHC), prior to the implementation of the medical and surgical mission
- For monitoring purpose, BIHC will notify the local Centers for Health Development of the conduct of the medical mission in their areas of responsibility
- A foreign medical and surgical mission can only be conducted in a given community with the expressed and written consent of the local government unit and the local medical society
- All medical and surgical procedures to be employed must conform to accepted local and international standards
- All medicines to be dispensed should have clearance from the Bureau of Food and Drugs as to safety and efficacy, and shall have an expiry date of no less than six (6) months. Medicines must be covered by the Certificate of Product Registration
- A referral system to follow up patients seen during the medical and surgical mission must be established by the sponsor and collaborating organization(s)
- All cases seen during the medical/surgical mission must be documented and a summary report submitted to the Center for Health Development within two (2) weeks after the medical/surgical mission with the following basic information: Number and age of cases seen; Diagnosis of patients; List of medicines distributed and of surgical interventions done; and Endorsements to the necessary health facilities.
- Foreign physicians and health-related professionals are not allowed to practice their professions in the Philippines without a Special Permit issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
I must stress this FACT again: These PROTECTIONIST policies (designed to protect Filipinos against foreign competition and job loss) were advocated, supported and fought by the country’s protectionists (like Winnie Monsod) and hardcore leftists (like Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino).
Reality bites. It tells us our very own laws (which were passed in the name of the poor and the greater good) can aggravate the people’s suffering in times of crisis.