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The Need to Increase Supply of Medical Workers and Build Telemedicine Infrastructure to Prepare for Future Public Health Crises


Geoffrey Ducanes and Sarah Lynne Daway-Ducanes

The Philippines already has a serious shortage of medical workers, but the current COVID-19 pandemic all the more highlighted this fact. To make things worse, more than 2,669 health care workers have been infected by COVID-19 (per Department of Health data as of June 1, 2020), of which 32 have died. Given this dire situation, there is an urgent need to solve the medical worker shortage in the country.

In a new policy brief produced by the UP CIDS Program on Higher Education Research and Policy Reform (HERPR), economists Geoffrey Ducanes and Sarah Lynne Daway-Ducanes discuss a two-pronged strategy to solve the shortage of health care professionals in the country: by increasing the supply of medical workers, especially doctors and by investing heavily in telemedicine to dampen the demand for medical workers. The current pandemic especially presents an unprecedented opportunity for the rapid adoption of telemedicine technology, which can enable a more efficient allocation and utilization of scarce medical resources, and at the same time, could serve as a way for flattening the COVID-19 curve.

Read and/or download the rest of the policy brief below:
UP CIDS Policy Brief 2020-07