Lack of doctors
It was recently revealed by the Department of Health Regional Office 8 that there are 18 municipalities in Eastern Visayas with a total population of 265,000 which have no doctors to attend to their medical services. Those towns are in Samar Island with Samar province comprising the big bulk. Of the 23 municipalities in Samar, 12 have no doctors denying 186,528 of its combined population with medical services.
The DOH identified those towns without government physician as Daram, Talalora, Pinabacdao, Hinabangan, Jiabong, Tarangnan, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, Gandara, Tagapul-an, Sto. Niño and Almagro.
The poor and the indigents in those areas usually consult for treatment of their ailments quack doctors or the “tambalans” since they cannot afford to go to private hospitals in the cities. What happens is that they first go to “herbolarios” for treatment or remedial measures and it is only when their sickness or diseases becomes in advanced state that they are forced to bring their patients to the hospital for medical services. In most cases, it is already too late and the patient succumbed to his/her ailment.
One of the reasons why there are no medical practitioners in those places is that there are no takers since newly-graduate doctors usually go abroad where the pay is good.
The DOH, however, hopes that by next year when the Pinoy MD program of the agency will graduate some 50 new doctors this problem will be solved.
This problem of lack of doctors is also focused but to a lesser degree to Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.
This problem may be worst in other areas in the country, especially in conflict areas like in Sulu and Basilan provinces. The DOH is pinning hope that under its Pinoy program newly-graduate doctors would be able to fill in the vacancies of medical practitioners in other areas in the country.
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