Why PH is giving medical students free tuition in 8 SUCs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2017 03:24 PM

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Good news! Doctor of Medicine students in 8 state universities and colleges can now avail and enjoy full tuition subsidy for school year 2017-2018 following a P317.1 million fund allocation by the Commission on Higher Education. 

In an interview with radio DZMM, CHED Commissioner Prospero de Vera said the free tuition for medical students is a response to the problem of shortage of doctors in the country. 

He added that there are still parts of the country where people die "without ever seeing a doctor." 

"We all know that lack of doctors especially in far-flung areas. A medical degree is expensive, and many doctors take up residencies in other countries are passing the licensure exam. This program helps medical students get free education," he said. 

The program covers both new and continuing Filipino medical students who will enroll for academic year 2017-2018 in 8 SUCs. 

The 8 SUCs are: 

- University of Northern Philippines
- Mariano Marcos State University
- Cagayan State University
- Bicol University
- West Visayas State University
- University of the Philippines – Leyte
- Mindanao State University
- University of the Philippines - Manila

To qualify for the program, a student must satisfy the following requirements: 

1. Pass the admission requirements of the SUC
2. Enroll in authorized Doctor of Medicine programs of the SUCs
3. Maintain a general weighted average (GWA) of at least a passing grade
4. Carry a regular academic load and complete the degree within the period allowed in the university 

De Vera said medical students covered by the program will need to sign a return service agreement wherein they must render a year of service for every year of cash grant received. He said these new doctors can serve as doctors to the barrios, or in tertiary or district hospitals. 

He added the government is also eyeing an expanded student financial assistance program that includes a student loan program for both public and private universities. 

RADIO DZMM, June 16, 2017