Government Set to Offer 2,189 Medical Scholarship Opportunities
In a recent announcement, Senator Ralph Recto confirmed that the number of free medical education slots in the Philippines will experience a significant increase during the 2023-2024 school year. This expansion aims to support the Doktor Para Sa Bayan program, a government initiative designed to provide scholarships to aspiring doctors.
A Massive Increase in Medical Scholarships
Thanks to an additional P917 million in funding allocated to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the number of free medical education slots available for the 2023-2024 school year will rise to 2,189. This represents a 150% increase, effectively supersizing the number of government scholars pursuing medicine. Consequently, the total number of Doktor Para Sa Bayan scholars will reach 3,600.
Expanding Educational Opportunities Nationwide
The new medical scholarships will be offered across 16 state universities and 16 private schools in 15 different regions, ensuring that aspiring doctors from various areas have access to quality education. Senator Recto emphasized that every region would have scholarship opportunities, with the exception of Caraga and MiMaRoPa. However, these regions will also be included once accredited medical schools become available.
The 2023 national budget has allocated P500 million to CHED’s Medical Scholarship and Return Service Program, while P167 million has been designated as a subsidy for Tuition Fees for Medical Students in State Universities and Colleges. Additionally, P250 million will serve as a start-up fund to equip participating SUCs with essential equipment and facilities.
Collaboration with the Department of Health
Senator Recto highlighted that CHED is not the only agency working to improve medical education in the country. The Department of Health (DOH) also operates its own M.D. scholarship program through the Pre-Service Scholarship Program. This initiative supports not only aspiring physicians but also other allied health professionals.
The dramatic increase in free medical education slots demonstrates the Philippine government’s commitment to nurturing the country’s future healthcare professionals. This expansion will undoubtedly benefit thousands of aspiring doctors and ultimately contribute to a healthier and more vibrant Philippines.