SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday sought the passage of a measure that seeks to create a medical reserve corps.
He also pushed the approval of a bill that will establish an e-health system and services.
Senators Pilar Juliana “Pia” Cayetano and Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos have also filed their own versions of the measure.
Go said strained medical personnel hinders the country’s capacity to combat diseases.
President Rodrigo Duterte had also stressed the need for a medical reserve corps.
“Like any major crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought devastating effects to our society. The surge of cases has caught the world off-guard and its escalation has overwhelmed us. However, this crisis also gives us an opportunity to introduce policies and systems that would make us more prepared to face crises of this nature in the future,” Go said.
Senate Bill 1451, or the proposed “Medical Reserve Corps Act of 2020,” aims to establish a medical reserve corps that shall be composed of persons who have degrees in medicine, nursing, medical technology and other health-related fields but have yet to have their respective licenses to practice.
They may be called upon and mobilized to assist the national government and the local government units in times of national emergencies. Those who are deployed should be properly compensated.
“The establishment of the Medical Reserve Corps will uphold the role of medical and health-related personnel in nation-building and promote in them patriotism and nationalism,” the senator said.
Another measure discussed in the Senate public hearing is the establishment of the E-Health System and Services.
“As the pandemic continues to limit physical interaction and mobility and face-to-face transactions, the use of information and communications technology at this time has become apparent, and telemedicine became an alternative health delivery method. Marami pong gumagamit nito ngayon (Many are using this now),” Go said.
“The need for an up-to-date and easy-to-access health care system is indispensable at this time,” he added.
Go said he and Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara filed bills to institutionalize the system of providing e-health services.
“The bills aim to regulate the practice of telemedicine and e-health and set the standards of practice in providing e-health services. This will recognize e-health as equal with other healthcare delivery methods, guarantee quality of service, and ensure patient safety and protection,” he explained.
Go welcomed the inputs of various agencies, stakeholders and experts to improve these measures “that would help us not only to overcome this pandemic, but also make us more prepared and responsive to any other health crisis.”