500 Indian docs apply for jobs in Philippines
But a provision in the constitution bars foreign doctors from working in government hospitals.Updated: Mar 22, 2006 17:35 IST
About 500 Indian doctors have applied to work in the Philippines to ease a chronic shortage but cannot be given jobs because the constitution forbids it, the health secretary said on Wednesday.
Francisco Duque said the Indian doctors were awaiting Manila's approval to start work but a provision in the constitution bars foreign doctors from working in government hospitals.
"I have 500 applicants from India but I cannot hire them because our constitution doesn't allow that," he said in a speech to a medical group.
He said the Indian doctors could otherwise have filled the vacant posts at various government hospitals due to the large number of Filipino medical professionals who seek work abroad.
Asked how the Indian doctors could be accommodated, Duque said: "We really do not know."
He called for a review of the constitutional provision.
The Philippine Medical Association warned last year that the country's health system risked complete collapse in a few years due to the large numbers of Filipino nurses and doctors who have found better-paying jobs abroad.
The constitution strictly limits the areas where foreigners can find jobs.
First Published: Mar 22, 2006 17:23 IST