Gullas College of Medicine (GCM) alongside various medical school delegates throughout the country participated in the 53rd annual Association of the Philippines Medical Colleges, Inc. (APMC) convention. St. Louis University – School of Medicine hosted this year’s convention in Baguio City with the theme, “Are Philippine medical schools ready to produce graduates for the efficient implementation of Universal Health Care?”
Held from June 29 −July 2, 2021, the 4-day APMC convention was attended by GCM’s delegates, namely, Dr. Vince Edward Araneta, Dr. Remaur Herrera, Dr. Jasmin Friberg, Dr. Kathryn David, Dr. Rizza Antoinette So, Dr. Nino Ismael Pastor, Atty. Alfredo Mayol III, Ms. Honey Lyn Aunzo, and Ms. Karla Christy Go.
The APMC Convention kicked off with a Business Meeting attended by medical school deans as they discuss the agenda of preparing Philippine medical schools to produce graduates for the efficient implementation of Universal Health Care. The first day of the convention was filled with new and valuable insights in enhancing the medical education in the Philippines, with the opening of the scientific and commercial virtual exhibits and a mid-day symposium on the use of E-resources in enhancing medical education. They were followed by a talk by Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ account manager, Mr. Geronimo Lacanlale on the clinical keys of supporting world-class medical education.
The 53rd annual APMC convention officially opened on the next day with a virtual processional of the medical school members of the APMC. Other lectures and symposiums spanning the rest of the convention includes the 4th Dr. Elena Ines-Cuyegkeng Memorial Lecture by Dr. Carmencita Padilla, University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) Chancellor and Plenary, Updates on Universal Health Care in the Philippines by Hon. Angelina D.L. Tan, MD, Role of Medical Schools in UHC implementation with different perspectives of an administrator, Models of Integrating UHC in Basic Medical Education by Dr. Michael Kidd, Primary Health Care Education in the Basic Medical Education Curriculum depending on various settings, and Inter-professional Education by different speakers from various medical schools such as Cebu Institute of Medicine, UP College of Medicine, and De La Salle School of Health Sciences Institute.
When asked about what the medical school’s role in the implementation of Universal Health Care would be, Dr. Vince Edward C. Araneta, a faculty member of Gullas College of Medicine stated, “The convention revolves around the Universal Health Care (UHC), and it is very important that the foundation of this concept be started in medical schools.” He added that “we need physicians to be ready and be equipped well when universal health care will be fully implemented.” And he believes this can be best achieved if medical students are already taught, exposed to, and trained in the principles related to universal healthcare. He also said that although students should learn it by theory first, what is more important is the hands-on experience.
Dr. Nino Ismael Pastor, Dean of the Gullas College of Medicine confidently stated, “We are ready,” referring to the College’s integration of the Universal Health Care. He later added that UHC must be taught in medical schools to produce Primary Care Physicians.