Foreign Medical Missions to the Philippines

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

The following regulations are applicable to Filipino and foreign non-government organizations and overseas medical groups intending to provide health care services in underserved areas in the Philippines, where professional services, ancillary procedures, surgical interventions, and medicines are given at no cost to the patient (DOH Administrative Order No. 1 79, s.2001):

o   Number and age of cases seen;

o   Diagnosis of patients;

o   List of medicines distributed and of surgical interventions done; and

o   Endorsements to the necessary health facilities

Note: Only foreign physicians, whose country grants reciprocity for Philippine physicians to practice, may be granted Special Permits by the PRC.

Presidential Decree No. 541 allows professionals who were former citizens of the Philippines and who have previously passed licensure examinations in the Philippines to practice their profession while in the country on a visit, sojourn or permanent residence. The said former Filipino professionals must be practitioners of good standing prior to their departure from the Philippines and in their adopted country.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The following documents will be required in requesting for clearances or endorsements in connection with foreign medical missions:

Application letter to the Director, BIHC-Department of Health, which contains the following information:

Important: The application letter with the supporting documents should be received by BIHC-DOH at least three (3) months before the proposed schedule of the mission.

o   Two copies of passport size photograph taken not more than three(3) months before the filing of application;

o   Photocopy of valid/current certificate of license to practice profession in their own country; and

o   Documents attesting to the specialized studies, fields of specialization or experiences (if any)

Note: The original copies of the documents in will need to be presented for verification, unless the photocopies are authenticated by competent or legally authorized persons or officers.

The DOH will review the request and will consult with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), the Board of Medicine, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), and the Philippine Hospital Association (PHA), whenever necessary. In certain cases, the DOH may recommend alternative activities, locations, or arrangements to coincide with government priorities. The head of the medical mission or the local sponsor/project coordinator will be informed, within two(2) weeks after receipt of the request of either the approval or disapproval of the request, and the reason for the decision. DOH may also recommend activities, tentative schedules, alternative sites/venues or arrangements, if any.

The sponsor or local counterpart is required to submit an exit/termination report after the completion of the mission to the DOH through the Regional Director concerned.

SPECIAL PERMIT

A foreign physician and health-related professional can only practice his/her profession in the Philippines with a Special Permit from the Professional Regulation Commission. The following documents are required by PRC for the grant of Special Permit to foreign physicians:

o    Philippine Medical Association; for physicians

o    Philippine Dental Association; for dentists

o    Philippine Association of Optometrists; for optometrists

o    Philippine Nurses Association; for nurses

Applications for release of Special Permits for the conduct of foreign medical missions must be submitted to the Professional Regulation Commission not later than ninety (90) days before the proposed medical mission.

The PRC notifies the sponsor of the medical mision of the approved resolution granting the issuance of Special Permit. PRC will charge a registration fee of One Thousand Pesos     (P1, 000.00) for each permit issued.

For medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment to be brought in by the medical mission team, please refer to the section on Overseas Donations.

REFERENCES

Guidelines For Granting Permits To Foreign Doctors Conducting Medical Missions Sponsored By Local Private Organization, Resolution No. 06, s. 1991 of the Board of Medicine.

Policies and Guidelines in the Conduct of Local and Foreign Medical and Surgical Missions, Administrative Order No. 179, s. 2001, Department of Health.

Presidential Decree No. 541, Allowing Former Filipino Professionals to Practice their Respective Professions in the Philippines.