SIGNIFICANCE/RATIONALE: With prevailing scarcity of resources and the reliance of the DPH-Medical Pool Placement and Utilization Program for additional support, it becomes necessary for the program to be evaluated for its effectiveness and continuing relevance after more than a decade of implementation.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and continuing relevance of the Medical Pool Placement and Utilization Program (Med Pool PUP)
METHODOLOGY: The study used mixed method design covering all recipient government hospitals which the MedPool PUP deployed with either full time medical officers or part time medical specialist. A survey of all recipient hospitals was done to determine the profile and work outcomes of the deployed doctors. A separate survey of all non-recipient government hospitals to determine the health human resource needs by them was done to serve as basis to determine the continuing relevance of the MedPool PUP. Key informant interviews to be carried out in 16 recipient hospitals for the purpose of gaining deeper insights into the implementation of the program.
SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS RESULTS OF THE STUDY: A total of 75 public hospitals were beneficiaries of the MedPool PUP covering all hospital categories - Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 hospitals. Fifty-one hospitals responded to the survey. Five major justifications were revealed.
Although the work descriptions covering the deployment of the MedPool doctors are focused on providing medical care to the patients, actual work functions also included involvement in medical training of other doctors, clinical administration, researches and outreach services.
Many exceptional contributions to the hospitals were given by the deployed doctors. In 12 out of 16 (75%) hospitals visited, the doctors deployed were able to introduce new clinical services such as heart surgery, ophthalmology, renal transplant, hepato-biliary surgery, automation of clinical laboratory procedures, among others. This is the primary basis for this study to conclude that the MedPool PUP is effective.
The survey conducted to non-beneficiary public hospitals revealed 20% to 29% of Level 2 to 4 hospitals are without any Master degree in Hospital Administration or related field as required for hospital licensing. also, 22% to 38% of public hospitals have below the minimum number of doctors required based om licensing standards of DOH and the total number of hours per week a civil servant has to serve a public agency.
Based on the effectiveness demonstrated by the MedPool PUP and the continuing health human resource needs of public hospitals, the MedPool PUP continues to be relevant as a health human resource program of the Department of Health.
CONCLUSIONS: The study was able to find evidences of significant degree of effectiveness of the MedPool PUP and its contuing relevance
RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that MedPool PUP be continued and strengthened to fill the needs of public hospitals based on a system priorities.