DOH-7 joins nationwide call for justice for the slain doctor
CEBU CITY—More than 100 employees of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) started wearing black armbands on Monday to seek justice for the killing of rural physician Dreyfuss Perlas last week.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director, said they would not take off the armbands until told to do so by the central office.
He said they joined the nationwide call for justice for Perlas because there were only a few physicians who gave up a lucrative practice in the cities and opted to stay in poor, far-flung communities to ensure the people there were given proper health care.
He said he met Perlas when both of them were assigned in Lanao del Norte in 2012.
“The public needs to know the sacrifices Perlas has done for the country. Hopefully, justice will be served and the suspects will be punished,” he added.
Perlas, municipal health officer of Sapad in Lanao del Norte, was heading home about 7 p.m. on March 1 when he was shot dead by a lone gunman.
A native of Aklan, he was first assigned in Lanao under the government’s Doctors to the Barrio program.
Instead of leaving after his required two-year service, he opted to stay because he had grown to love the community he was serving.
But only a few physicians have gone the road taken by Perlas since public health service is not financially enticing to medical practitioners since it only means a month pay of P56,000.
Bernadas said that when he started in 1984, the rate was only P2,300 per month.
At present, there are 12 physicians in Central Visayas who are under the Doctor’s Barrio Program.
“The requirement is one doctor for every 20,000 population. But in the reality, it is one doctor equivalent to one municipality, which has a populations of 12,000 to 200,000 population” he said.
Bernadas urged the local government units (LGUs) to provide security to the physicians especially those assigned in risky areas.
“Aside from security, we also urged them to also take care and love their doctors, provide them with a good (working) atmosphere,” he added.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.