DOH to intensify security for volunteer barrio doctors

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has called on local government units to cooperate in ensuring the safety of health workers across the country especially those who voluntarily serve in far-flung places where their lives are at risk.

This comes after the recent killing of volunteer doctor, Dreyfuss Perlas.

Dr. Perlas was shot in the head by an unidentified suspect last Wednesday evening in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte while on his way home from a medical mission.

The DOH regional health office is now coordinating with local authorities in Lanao del Norte to investigate the killing of Perlas.

Meanwhile, the Lanao del Norte provincial government has also formed a task force to probe his death and provide reward money to informants.

On Monday morning, DOH employees and officials gathered together to hold a Black Monday protest condemning the murder of Perlas.

DOH bestowed the slain doctor with a “Bayani Ng Kalusugan” award for his two-year service as a municipal health officer in the fifth class municipality of Sapad, Lanao del Norte.

“This particular award comes with it P200,000 cash award to the family,” said Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial.

Dr. Perlas was considered a DOH baby, having become a medical scholar through the Bagong Doktor Para Sa Bayan Program.

He eventually joined DOH’s Doctors to the Barrio Program before deciding to stay in Sapad, Lanao del Norte as a full-time barrio doctor.

Dr. Perlas was also known for his dedication in improving rural health units (RHUs) in Sapad.

He was also active at medical missions and responding to various emergency situations such as during Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao and Davao Oriental; the ambush in Lanao del Norte and the MILF standoff in Zamboanga City. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue

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