The U.S. Healthcare Industry Dependence on Filipino Medical Professionals

by Bobby Reyes

| Photo source National Archives at College Park via Wikimedia Commons

Part V of the “ReVOTElution of H.O.P.E.” Series

Continuing with what I wrote in Part IV of this series, I reported as a staffer/columnist of the then-Manila Standard-Los Angeles (edition, which is now defunct) in August 1988 my interview with then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Raul Manglapus about the presence of Filipino 500,000 nurses and 22,000 physicians in the United States. (The figures were from Mr. Manglapus’ speech.) He described the fielding of the Filipino medical professionals as the equivalent of the Philippine foreign aid to the American people and their government.

I mentioned in this column Mr. Manglapus and his 1988 address to the Foreign Relations Council of Los Angeles, CA, where I was the only Filipino journalist to cover it. Please refer to Part IV of the “Filipino Melting Pot” series published on March 17, 2021, at this link.

The “ReVOTElution” proponents have been writing many proposals to make the “Medicare for All (Universal Coverage)” a reality not only in the Philippines but also in the United States. The American President will never reject an offer to receive the new Filipino head of state even in a private visit — hopefully in the latter part of 2022 — to discuss how Filipino healthcare workers can field a health team composed of at least one physician, three nurses and two medical technician/paramedics for every small town in the United States that is at least 50-miles away from an even a small hospital.

“The project would ensure that the entire world can fight any pandemic in the future. And give all the needed vaccines to all the willing masses of humanity affordable vaccines (like at $3 per shot).”

And the personal (or state) visit to the White House can enable the new Philippine President to push this column’s suggestion of doing a new state-of-the-art Medical Center in the Philippines — patterned after its early-1900s prototype the Americans built in the City of Manila, as a project of then-President William McKinley and first American Civil Governor in the Philippines, William Howard Taft. And building replicas of a 22nd-century version of the said Medical Center in 49 other strategically-located countries in the world — with the Philippines providing the bulk of the nurses, physicians, and other medical staff in them. The project would ensure that the entire world can fight any pandemic in the future. And give all the needed vaccines to all the willing masses of humanity affordable vaccines (like at $3 per shot). This initiative can win the American-and-Philippine Presidents’ Nobel Peace Prize and/or the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

I wrote about the first American overseas-Medical Center on Jan. 28, 2021, in this column. It was titled Biden Can Become a “Super Genius” (Part V of a “Biden B2B Doctrine” for Economic Empowerment).

Here are some data about the absence of resident physicians in the United States. “Many rural Americans have limited access to health care. This problem stems from two characteristics of the healthcare system: the many Americans without healthcare insurance and the tendency of healthcare professionals to locate and practice in relatively affluent urban and suburban areas.

“The relative shortage of physicians in rural areas of the United States is one of the few constants in any description of the U.S. medical-care system. About 20% of the US population—more than 50 million people—live in rural areas, but only 9% of the nation’s physicians practice in rural communities.” To read more data about the dearth of American physicians in rural towns, please go to this link.

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