Human involvement in the conduct of research creates ethical responsibility as people need to be protected especially if they are the subject of the study. It is imperative therefore that researches involving human participants be reviewed and approved by an accredited Ethics Review Committee (ERC) prior to the conduct of the study. As such, it is essential for institutions to have a self-regulating committee that will look after ethical issues and considerations among research protocols. The committee shall ensure that all researches conducted with human subjects are studied and approved in order to ensure that ethical codes, guidelines, and standards are followed. For the past years, the resident physicians of Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) have produced excellent research studies that won awards in their respective subspecialty societies, and it is their desire that these types of work be published. Prior to the publication, the publishing company requires that these researches be evaluated by an accredited ERC. However, establishing an ERC accredited by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) takes time.
In Region 1, there are only two (two) institutions that have an accredited Research Ethics Review Committee (RERC), both from Batac City, Ilocos Norte namely, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) and Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) with Level 3 and 2 Accreditation respectively. In order to abide by the mandate of the law, ITRMC tapped the help of MMMH&MC through a MOA wherein ITRMC will send research protocols to MMMH&MC RERC for the ethical review of their proposals pursuant to the National Ethical Guidelines for Health Research. In effect, ITRMC shall comply with any observations and recommendations given by MMMH&MC RERC. Upon approval and signing of the agreement, it shall take effect for a period of 1 (one) year and subject to certain terms and conditions upon the renewal or termination of the contract.
This union will solve the challenge of resource inadequacy and promotes inter agency support in the field of delivering quality healthcare services. Both institutions support the idealism of encouraging an ethical conduct of health research which leads to the achievement of common goal - sustainable health development.