Miriam sparks drive against bogus doctors.
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asked yesterday for a thorough probe on reports that non-professionals posing as doctors are putting public health at risk.
Santiago made the call after filing Senate Resolution 1431 where she urged her colleagues to address loopholes that allow non-professionals to illegally practice medicine with impunity.
Her resolution was triggered by a petition of Change org., an online signature campaign platform, against Antonia Carangdang-Park who allegedly accepts patients as a licensed physician even without proper credentials.
The signature campaign was launched by Bernard Tan, who sought murder an estafa charges against Park in 2013, months after his daughter, Kate, died following a stem cell treatment and a juice diet Park prescribed for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Santiago said she is also set to file a bill to deter and immediately stop such acts.
"The government is duty-bound to protect its citizens from unscrupulous individuals who claim to be practitioners of medicine and other professions without legitimate education, training, and experience," she said.
Slamming inaction on the part of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Tan claimed that Park still practices medicine despite charges of illegal practice of medicine and estafa. Tan's petition has gained 7,000 signatures so far.
Under the present law, a person found guilty of illegal practice of medicine is punishable with a fine of P1,000 to P10,000, with imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than five years, or with both fine and imprisonment.
"There must be a mechanism to preventively suspend the practice of alleged medical professionals pending questions of legality. More importantly, such mechanism must be implemented without delay," Santiago said.