THE CEBU PROVINCIAL board approved this week a resolution giving Gov. Hilario P. Davide III authority to sign an agreement with the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and the Department of Health (DoH) for a four-year residency program for doctors who will be hired by the provincial government. “To have an impact on our health programs, we need to upgrade simultaneously key areas in human resource, facilities and equipment. And for human resource, we need to craft our own training program for long-term solution,” said Dr. Rene C. Catan, head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO). Mr. Catan, in a statement from the provincial government, said the program would help ensure that there will be enough doctors, including specialists, for provincial government-run hospitals when these are upgraded to a higher level medical facility. Under the agreement, newly hired doctors of the province will be sent to the VSMMC, a public hospital under the DoH, for training. VSMMC, in turn, will deploy their resident doctors who already have at least two years residency training to provincial hospitals to fill in vacant posts. “If we want doctors to work with us for good, we need to build a career path for them. Providing them with residency training until they become specialists is one of the ways to entice them to join us,” Mr. Catan said. Those who will join the program will be required to work for the provincial government for two years for every year of training. Cebu has five Level 1 hospitals and 11 primary care district hospitals.