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House panel led by Helen Tan OKs creation of medical reserve corps

Aug 28, 2020 @ 11:19

The House committee on health chaired by Quezon Rep. Helen Tan has endorsed the creation of a medical reserve corps to augment the country’s health personnel in case of pandemics and health emergencies.

“Medical reservists are needed in times like this when we are going through a Covid-19 pandemic. They are also needed in case of disasters,” Tan, author of one of the bills, said.

She said many hospitals in Metro Manila and other parts of the country are short of medical staff due to the current pandemic.

“Many of our healthcare workers are exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. They have to take a rest. This is one of the reasons why they called for a timeout three weeks ago. If we have a reserve force, they could temporarily take the place of tired health workers who have to take a break from toxic and risky work,” Tan said.

Under Tan’s Bill No. 7331, the Department of Health (DOH) would be mandated to organize the reserve medical network. It would be composed of licensed physicians, including those retired, graduates of medicine, medical students who have completed four years of medical course, registered nurses, and licensed allied health professionals.

The DOH would issue guidelines for the recruitment, compulsory and continuing training, compensation and incentives, and length of service of corps members.

The bill provides that the reserve group “shall be so organized, trained, developed, and maintained as to ensure its readiness to immediately respond to the call to service.”

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