Single professional medical group to cater to all practicing physicians in the country proposed

By , on January 10, 2015

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ShuterStock image

MANILA — A medical doctor-lawmaker has said the Philippine Medical Association Inc. (PMA) should be the single medical professional organization that will accredit all medical doctors in the country.

Quezon Rep. Angelina D.L. Tan filed House Bill No. 4560 or the proposed “Integrated Medical Professional Organization Act” which will institutionalize the PMA as the sole integrated professional medical organization in the country where all physicians wanting to practice medicine will be required to become members.

She said in her proposed law that it puts the PMA as a partner of government in the improvement of the health care delivery by institutionalizing a mechanism to regulate and rid the medical profession of so-called misfits found to be negligent in the medical practice.

“There is no other medical organization that possesses the breadth, composition, membership and nationwide coverage of the PMA. In almost all matters affecting health or the medical profession, the government seeks the advice of the PMA,” she pointed out.

According to Tan, the PMA is the mother association of all medical organizations or the umbrella organization of the medical profession in the country which brings together the entire medical profession under one roof to serve as an authoritative source of information on health, disease and medical practice.

“The PMA and its specialty societies periodically conduct seminars, workshops and conventions educating its members on the latest medical technology and medicines. Its specialty societies determine who are going to be specialists in the several fields of medicine,” she explained.

The bill provides that the PMA shall hear complaints against its members, prescribe its procedures. Its rules shall be liberally construed and the technical rules of procedure on evidence shall not be strictly applied.

Another salient provision is that a person may file a verified complaint before the PMA against a PMA member based on the following grounds:

* Gross negligence, ignorance or incompetence in the practice of his/her profession resulting in death, physical injury to a person;

* Conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude;

* Immoral or dishonorable conduct;

* Insanity;

* Fraud in the acquisition of the certificate of registration, and professional license or renewal thereof;

* Addiction to alcoholic beverages or to any habit forming drug rendering him or her incompetent to practice his or her profession;

* False or extravagant or unethical advertisement;

* Performing or aiding in any criminal abortion;

* Knowingly issuing any false medical certificate; issuing any statement or spreading any news or rumor which is derogatory to the character and reputation of another physician without justifiable motive;

* Aiding or acting as a dummy of unqualified or unregistered person to practice medicine; and

* Violation of the Code of the PMA.

Furthermore, the PMA may impose penalties of reprimand, suspension or expulsion. Likewise, all cases filed or pending under the proposed Act shall not be discussed or taken in any forum until after the same shall have been decided with finality.

The PMA shall promulgate the implementing rules and guidelines within 60 days after the enactment of the proposed Act.

To date, the author noted, there are about 28,000 physicians who are PMA members. Membership in the PMA is coursed through the Component Society, the basic unit of the Association. Presently, there are 117 Component Societies, more popularly known as medical societies, equitably distributed in all region of the country.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation chaired by Leyte Rep. Andres Salvacion Jr. for appropriate consideration and action.