MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) on Friday urged President Aquino and Congress to hike salaries of government physicians to stop them from leaving the country to get jobs abroad.
PMA Governor for Manila Leo Olarte said a government doctor earns a starting salary of only P15,000 a month. In comparison, a neophyte congressman can earn as much as P40,000 a month based on the 2009 pay scale for government workers.
"Kami po ay humihingi ng tulong sa Kongreso at sa ating mahal na Pangulo na ang Magna Carta for Government Physicians will be fully implemented. Pangalawa po, ang aming hinihiling po na sana ang sweldo ng mga doktor for government service should be equal to salary of a congressman,” Olarte told radio dzMM.
The PMA official said there are about 120,000 registered physicians in the country. Of that number, he said many have died, others are no longer practicing and many have left the country.
He said the PMA has more or less 70,000 members, of which only half remain active.
Olarte said a salary of P15,000 a month is too little to support a family.
"Sa ngayon po ang sweldo po ng doktor sa gobyerno pagpasok po niya is only P15,000. Kung ikaw ay isang family man, tatlo po ang anak mo, nandito ka po sa Manila, P15,000 po 'yun ang sweldo mo. Babawas-bawasan pa po 'yan ng maraming bawas e baka P10,000 na lang po ang net nun. Hindi po makakabuhay sa isang pamilya,” he said.
He said that while doctors can earn extra by having their own private practice, there are times that insurance companies and Philhealth do not pay up quickly.
Radio dzMM, November 9, 2012