Nine candidates vying for a Senate seat in the May 13, 2019 polls on Sunday gave different answers on how to address the lack of doctors in far-flung areas in the Philippines and how best to secure these doctors to the barrios.
Dr. Willie Ong, the lone physician among the 9 Senate hopefuls during Sunday's "Harapan 2019: The ABS-CBN Senatorial Town Hall Debate," gave 3 solutions to the problem: incentivize potential health workers with free education and a salary, build up village health workers, and tap telemedicine.
Journalist Jiggy Manicad said senators should allocate some of their funds to hospitals in various regions while also strengthening nationalism among the country's doctors.
Former Congressman Glenn Chong said he wants to institutionalize mobile clinics that would address the lack of physicians in distant barrios. He added that he will leave it to Philippine security forces to make sure these doctors are safe working in the barrios.
For his part, senatorial bet Larry Gadon steered the conversation to the current measles crisis in the Philippines as a result of declining vaccination rates.
"Hindi naman kailangan lahat ng lugar ay meron doctor. Pwede ka naman mag-hire ng mga nurses na pwedeng magsaksak ng mga vaccines," he said.