By JACK C. GADAINGAN
NAVAL, Biliran — In the wake of the brain-drain that is being felt in almost all professions in the country, Biliran Gov. Rogelio “Roger” J. Espina airs a critical lack for health workers who would be willing to practice their profession in rural areas — like at the Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) here.
Espina cited this critical need for health professionals during a recent interview on the “Radio Natin” program in this capital town.
He said that for example, most of our nurses don’t stay long at our hospitals because most of them would just work in provincial hospitals to get experience, and then they will travel abroad.
“More so with doctors, because even if they (doctors) don’t go abroad, urban cities like Metro Manila and Cebu are always greener pastures for them,” said the governor.
In the island province of Biliran, he said there are many doctors, but they don’t practice their profession in the province for the same reason.
“It is not fast and so easy to convince doctors to practice in the province, at our hospital,” he said.
The governor, who is also a doctor by profession, said this is one of the persistent problems at the Biliran Provincial Hospital – the lack of medical personnel.
Espina said that, at the moment, the BPH is in urgent need for a radiologist, because the provincial hospital has none.
He said patients who undergo X-ray and ultra-sound examinations at the BPH have to go to other diagnostic laboratories for the reading of the results by a professional.
“Although we have the equipment and other machines for such examinations, our problem is that we don’t have the licensed personnel to operate the machines,” Espina said.
The governor said that one of the urgent tasks now of the BPH administration is to look for qualified personnel – specially a radiologist from Cebu or from other metropolitan areas, and convince them to practice in Biliran.
He said that another possible solution, which is a long-term one, is to provide scholarships for doctors who would want to become a radiologist – where the province would provide the expenses of his/her specialization.
, but they would be under contract to serve at the provincial hospital.
Espina said that this is one solution they are now doing, but at the moment, there is no doctor-taker yet that can be convinced to specialize in radiology under the scheme.