Governor Dennis Socrates meets with the newly minted doctors from the provincial government medical scholarship program. (Photo from PIO)

The Palawan provincial government’s medical scholarship program that began in 2014 has already produced 62 medical professionals serving in various local government hospitals in the province as part of their return service obligation, according to an information released by Capitol.

With a current annual budget appropriation of around P500 million, the program covers mainly the tuition expenses of medical students studying in schools of their choice in Palawan and outside the province.

Some of these scholars have completed their return of service and are currently undergoing residency or Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs to specialize in their chosen fields. 

At least nine of these scholars have decided to continue their career as regular employees of the provincial government.

The program began with seven scholars, who passed the exam in November 2018. The second batch, composed of 8 scholars, passed the medical board in September 2019. Four scholars from the third batch passed in September 2020, and 11 scholars from the fourth batch succeeded in November 2020. Three 3 scholars from the fifth batch passed in March 2021, and 1 scholar from the sixth batch succeeded in September 2021. In addition, three scholars from the seventh batch passed in November 2021, seven scholars from the eighth batch succeeded in March 2022, and another seven scholars from the ninth batch passed in November 2022. 11 scholars from the tenth batch accomplished their goal in March 2023.

The SPS Alay sa Kabataan-Programang Pang-Edukasyon para sa Palaweño program was established in 2014 during the previous administration and is currently being continued under the administration of Governor Dennis Socrates. 

The main objective of the program is to provide assistance to deserving students who aspire to finish college, particularly in the field of medicine and other medical-related courses.

The program currently supports a total of 987 scholars. Among them, 143 are pursuing medical courses, while 808 are enrolled in various medical-related courses such as Dentistry, Medical Technology, Pharmacy, Nutrition and Dietetics, Radiology Technology, Ophthalmology, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy in different universities nationwide. Additionally, 36 scholars are undergoing Post Graduate Internship. This also includes 420 scholars currently taking up Nursing courses at Palawan State University (PSU), Holy Trinity University (HTU), and Palawan Polytechnic College, Inc. (PPCI), and 146 scholars pursuing Midwifery at PSU.

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