Cebu-based aspiring doctors and midwives can now study for free

With the objective of producing more doctors and midwives that will serve the public health sector especially the far-flung areas, the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas has re-opened its scholarship programs for medicine and midwifery students.

In an interview with Manila Bulletin, DOH-7 Nurse II Mario Natividad said that the DOH Medical Scholarship program is a replacement for the “Pinoy MD Program” which halted in 2013 because of lack of fund. It was then resumed last 2016 through the “Medical Scholarship Act of 2016” also known as an Act Providing Medical Scholarships in State Universities and Colleges to Qualified Students and Other Purposes.

Natividad also mentioned that the said scholarship program which is a collaboration between the DOH and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) prioritizes indigenous people, local health workers, Barangay Health Workers, as well as employees of DOH and their children interested in medicine.

There are currently two slots available for the said program at the University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMED) in Mandaue City and four slots at the Southwestern University in Urgello, Cebu. The DOH Medical Scholarship Program has already produced 33 doctors and are now deployed to serve the disadvantaged areas of Central Visayas.

To apply for the scholarship, interested students will have to inquire to DOH partner schools for the requirements. Qualified applicants are those not more than 35 years old who have completed a four-year course with an average grade of 2.0.
Those accepted in the medicine scholarship program are given more than PhP 100,000 a year for a five-year scholarship package which includes allowances for National Admission Test, registration fee, tuition, miscellaneous/laboratory fees, living subsidy, lodging, transportation, books and uniform allowances, plus PhilHealth premiums.

Accepted students for the midwifery scholarship, on the other hand, will receive PhP 10,000 per semester, annual uniform allowance of PhP 2,500, and all other tuition and miscellaneous fees.

Scholars who finished the course are required to take the Professional Licensure Examination within the year when the pass the board exams. Passers are required to be of service in the provincial hospital for five years. Those who will fail to finish the course will be obliged to pay the full amount given during the scholarship period.