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PIA Press Release

MEDCo chair pushes establishment of UP School of Health Science in South Cotabato

by Marlo Jayme

ICC Cotabato City (2 November) -- The Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) has endorsed the establishment of the UP School of Health Science in South Cotabato in view of making health science education accessible to the rural areas especially for the poor but deserving students who are expected to serve their communities upon completion of the courses.

Usec Virgilio L. Leyretana, Sr., MEDCo chairman conveyed the proposal to South Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes who expectedly welcomed the same knowing that this will lay the foundation of an expanded and affordable health care system for the countryside.

Leyretana told the lady governor that given the imbalanced distribution of health services in Mindanao due to the acute shortages of medical professionals serving in the rural areas, in the light of the concentration of these services in Metro Manila and heavily urbanized cities, the establishment of the UP School of Health Science in South Cotabato will rationalize the spread of such basic services, as well as provide more trained medical personnel responsive to the health needs of Mindanaoans,

The target date for the school opening is tentatively set for July, 2009. During the first year, the personnel complement will include five (5) faculty members, four (4) administrators and two (2) lecturers.

The courses to be offered are in accordance with the ladderized curricula of the University of the Philippines focusing on basic midwifery, nursing and medicine. The courses that will be offered are designed to encourage the poor but deserving students from South Central Mindanao and its adjacent region.

The initial number of enrollees is set at 80 students who will not be subjected to intense entrance requirements and payment of tuition fees.

Leyretana disclosed that the graduates shall be mandated to render a two-year service after graduation, with the end in view of filling the vacuum of medical and paramedical practices, especially in the rural areas.

Governor Fuentes has been seeking the support of legislators and successfully got a favorable response from Senator Edgardo Angara who pledged to give P10 million for the establishment of the health science school in South Cotabato.

The provincial government of South Cotabato needs P38 million to fund the school's establishment to cover the site, two classrooms, two offices and library. (PIO South Cotabato/PIA 12) [top]

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