Eight aspiring physicians in Northern Samar have qualified for the medical scholarship program (MSP) of the provincial government.
Northern Samar provincial health officer Ninfa Kam, the MSP board chairman, said on Tuesday the scholarship covers tuition and other school fees up to PHP100,000, plus PHP70,000 stipend, book, and uniform allowance per semester.
The provincial government will also shoulder the internship and review fees for the physician licensure examination (PLE) up to PHP60,000 and another PHP70,000 stipend, book, and uniform allowance.
In return, scholars are required to render service in the provincial and district hospitals, depending on the number of years they have availed of the program, Kam said during the contract signing ceremony at the provincial capitol in Catarman town.
The first batch of scholars, six from Dr. Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation in Tacloban City, and one each from the University of Cebu in Mandaue City and Far Eastern University in Manila, joined the contract signing ceremony.
In her message, Kam shared her experiences as a doctor abroad who returned to the province to serve his fellow Filipinos in the province.
“Coming back here is more than self-fulfilling, it is beyond what money can give. Money can help give comfort, get what you want, but making a difference in the lives of other people, especially in health, is something really beyond fulfillment,” she said.
Meanwhile, Governor Edwin Ongchuan, who attended the ceremony online, congratulated the first batch of scholars for passing the rigorous screening process.
“Carry on that dream of becoming doctors of medicine with diligence and love for public service. For when you eventually become doctors, you will be serving your fellow Nortehanons,” the scholars were told.
In May, the Northern Samar provincial council approved the ordinance creating the scholarship program to address the health needs of the people by increasing the availability of local doctors.
A scholar who will be part of the program from the first year up to his or her PLE review would be receiving PHP1.5-million in total scholarship benefits.
Source: Philippines News agency