Medical Mission



Medical and Surgical Missions (MSM) are conducted by the Department of Health, the Local Government Units, other government agencies, and local and foreign non-government organizations to extend medical and surgical health care services to Filipinos in underserved areas. These medical and surgical missions are taken as professional endeavor and not as medium for political patronage.


  1. All sponsors of medical and surgical missions are required to seek cleareance from the Office of Secretary of Health through the Bureau of Local Health Development (BLHD) fora all local MSM or through the Bureau of International Cooperation (BIHC) for all foreign MSM.
  2. The BLHD and BIHC shall notify the concerned Centers for Health Development (CHD) that a medical or surgical mission will be conducted in their areas of responsibility for monitoring purposes.
  3. The BLHD in counsultation with the Centers for Health Development Local Health Assistance Division (CHD-LHAD) and Local Government Units shall identify and prioritize areas where local medical and surgical missions can best supplement or augment priority health programs and projects.
  4. The sponsors shall inform, seek written consent from the host LGU and collaborating organizationns and health facilities, and conduct community preparation prior to the mission. Likewise, a foreign medical mission can only be conducted in a given locality with the expressed and consent of the local medical society. Should the foreign medical mission entail the practice of a specialty, a written consent must also be given by the local specialty society.
  5. The local medical society, in coordination with the CHD-LHAD.
  6. The sponsors and collaborating organizations shall comply with all clearances and permits required by the Philippine government prior to the implementation of the MSM.
  7. The DOH, through the Centers for Health Development, Specialty, Regional and other DOH Retained Hospitals shall provide technical assistance, as needed by the MSM.
  8. The CHD-LHAD is tasked to monitor the conduct of MSM and in coordination with their health education and promotion officers shall participate actively in the MSM by performing promotive-preventive activities.
  9. All medical and surgical procedures to be employed must conform to accepted local and international standards.
  10. All medicines to be dispensed should have clearance from the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) as to safely and efficacy and shall have expiry date of no less than six months. These must have Certificates of Product Registration issued by the BFAD.
  11. All equipment must conform to the standards set by the DOH and cleared by the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology.
  12. A referral system to follow-up all patients seen during the MSM and those needing further evaluation and treatment must be established by the sponsor and collaborating organization.
  13. All cases seen during the MSM must be documented and a summary report submitted to the CHD-LHAD within two weeks after the MSM with the following minimum basic information:
    • No. and age of cases seen
    • Diagnosis of patients
    • List of medicines distributed and of surgical interventions
    • Endorsements to the necessary health facilities (follow-up, further evaluation and management, etc.)
  14. At no instance shall a foreign physician and health-related professionals practice the profession in the Philippines without a special permit from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).


  1. All application letters for clearance of MSM shall state the following information:
    • Name of hospital and its complete address
    • Type of mission as to whether medical, surgical or both, local or foreign
    • Duration of the mission and inclusive dates
    • Name and specialty of staff who will conduct the mission
  2. A copy of the Specialty Board Certificates of each physician in the mission shall be submitted together with the application.
  3. Application letter with the necessary documents should be received by the BIHC at least three (3) months prior to the actual conduct of the mission.


The originals of the photocopies shall be presented for verification unless the photocopies are authenticated by competent or legally authorized persons or officers.

  1. A legally binding contract must be entered into between the foreign medical mission and the local counterpart. The contract shall bind the foreigners to the following terms:
    • No foreigner in training (as interns, residents, fellows or their equivalents) will perform any specialty work;
    • The medical work must be done under the supervision, control and approval of the local medical society and/or the local specialty society;
    • Records of the work done must be kept and copies submitted to the CHD-LHAD, PRC, specialty society concerned and PMA;
    • All records including audio-visual documents, still pictures and their negatives are property of the Philippine counterpart and may not be used or reproduced for advertisement, solicitation or medical publication without the written and expressed approval of the local medical society and the local counterpart; and any intellectual output as journal publication must include the local physicians as senior authors.
    • The foreign medical mission shall post a bond to cover any legal and other claims resulting from the medical mission with the amount set by the local medical society;
    • Any help needed as assistants at surgery, social workers, nurses shall be filed by the local personnel unless expressly waived by the local workers.
  2. All requests for temporary practice of profession of foreign members of the MSM shall be directed to the Bureau of International Health Cooperation at least 3 months before the conduct of the mission for endorsement to the PRC. in addition to the proposal to undertake MSM, the sponsor shall submit duly authenticated documents supporting the credentials of the members of the group who will participate in the mission as follow:
    • Two copies of the passport size pictures taken not more than three (3) months before the filing of the application;
    • Photocopy of the college diploma;
    • Photocopy of the certificates or license issued to the applicant in th country of origin;
    • Documents attesting to the special studies, fields of specialization or experiences;
    • Letter of endorsement from the head of organization with whom he will work.
  3. Foreign physicians shall be granted special permit to practice medicine by the PRC when the following are met:
    • Applicant is a citizen of a country when grants reciprocity for Philippine physicians to practice; a country with substantially the same requirements for registration and licensing as those required and contemplated by the laws of the Philippines and the laws of such country allow the citizens of the Philippines to practice the profession on the same basis and grant the same privileges as those enjoyed by the subjects of the citizens of such country
    • Applicant is already a trained specialist as attested to by his curriculum vitae to the satisfaction of the Board of Medicine of PRC (BM-PRC).
    • Applicant's curriculum vitae and other supporting documents must be authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate;
    • Applicant shall perform a specific function for a limited period of not exceeding thirty (30) days which may be renewed at the discretion of the BM-PRC.
    • Applicant must submit a written report of the work performed to the BM-PRC not later than 30 days after the termination of the work;
    • Applicant must submit to the BM-PRC his application, examination and registration fees and all supporting documents and these must be received by the Board not later than 90 days before the proposed MSM.
  4. The special permit issued shall be valid for one year.
  5. If the foreigner desires to renew the permit, letter of intent should be directed to the PRC with favorable endorsement from the head of organization with whom he is connected.

For further information, please contact Ms. Mayleen Beltran, Director, Bureau of International Health Cooperation, Department of Health, Philippines,  at telephone number 781-8843 (telefax) and 781-0751, or email at