One of the most popular programs designed to alleviate the shortage of health workers in the Philippines, especially in rural and far-flung communities, is the "Doctors to the Barrios" program, which contractually stations a physician to one such community for a period of two years.
But did you know that there is also a similar program for midwives? In 2008, the Department of Health Resolution No. 112-232 series 2007 formally implemented the Rural Health Midwives Placement Program (RHMPP), which deploys midwives under the rural health unit for a period of two years, with the specific aim of augmenting the workforce as regards maternal and newborn care. In conjunction, the DOH also provides a two-year scholarship program in midwifery in partnership with midwifery schools, the successful trainees of which are then incorporated into the deployment program after passing the licensure exam.
In many Philippine communities with limited, if not zero, access to health workers like clinical specialists, midwives continue to play a vital role in the health service delivery network. A study by Canila and Hipolito (2018) found that midwives have in fact taken part in the grassroots implementation of close to 60 DOH programs across the country, in addition to fulfilling their primary role as regards childbirth and newborn care.
1. Canila, C. C. & Hipolito, J. H. (2018). https://pjhrd.upm.edu.ph/index.php/main/article/view/231