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Senate probe into killing of volunteer doctor eyed

Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas
MANILA, March 6 -- To enact measures that would ensure the safety of volunteer doctors, Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday filed a resolution seeking for a probe into the murder of a Dreyfuss Perlas, a physician deployed in Lanao Del Norte who was shot dead last week.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution 310, the aim of which is to formulate and enact laws that would ensure the safety and well-being of physicians and medical personnel in rural areas.

"The current state of health human resources in the Philippines is characterized by the maldistribution of health professionals particularly doctors which are concentrated in urban centers," Hontiveros’ PSR No. 310 read.

The situation leaves "a number of rural areas doctor-less which in turn leads to inadequate health care services and poor health outcomes in these areas," the resolution read.

Hontiveros said the killing of Perlas undermines the efforts of government to provide access to health care services in rural areas.

She said that she backed the efforts of the health sector community which sought justice for Perlas and assured that the Senate will not back down on this attack against health and healthcare for Filipinos.

Reports showed that Perlas, who was part of the Doctor-to-the-Barrios (DTTB) program, was shot dead by unidentified persons while he was riding a motorbike in Kapatagan town in Lanao del Norte Wednesday last week.

Hontiveros said she had met Perlas in his DTTB graduation last October 2014 and described him as an “idealistic young man who wanted to push for meaningful change.”

Perlas reportedly had the opportunity to return to his home province of Aklan, but chose to stay in Lanao del Norte even after his contract expired three years ago.


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