Senator Richard Gordon has asked Health Secretary Francisco Duque to look into the unjust practices of both government and private hospitals and medical facilities in the country and end such practices.
Gordon renewed his call To the department following complaints posted on social media against some hospitals.
Among the unjust practices committed are imposing excessive fees, collecting deposits before admission, requiring blood retesting for blood coming from the Philippine Red Cross and banning the purchase of medicines outside the hospital, among others.
“As I have stressed multiple times in the past, medical facilities’ practice of charging retesting fees for PRC blood units and other unjust practices such as imposing exorbitant fees and demanding deposits before a patient is admitted, among others, are unnecessary and only add to the burden poor Filipinos who are already financially stressed,” said Gordon, also the Philippine Red Cross chairman.
“These hospitals are clearly violating laws, rules, and regulations,” said Gordon, adding they should not aggravate the sufferings of patients and their families.
The hospitals cited in the complaints are the following: Philippine General Hospital, National Kidney Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Lourdes Hospital, Labor Hospital, James L. Gordon Hospital in Olongapo City, Community Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Medical Center in Dagupan City, Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, MCU Hospital, Aklan Provincial Hospital, Manila East Medical Center in Taytay, Rizal, and Parañaque Doctors’ Hospital, among others.
In one complaint, a patient lamented that “it’s so expensive to get sick in the Philippines.”
Another complainant posted that “ Sad and true. My father was dead in (sic) arrival but we still paid P24k and another P1,500 to calm down [my]mother who then turned hysterical.”
“Plus sa confinement days ni papa habang naggagamot na dinischarge dahil kaya na daw ng oral medication. Pero after 3 days namatay sa bahay. Tapos everyday may billing na kelangan mong bayaran, di bibigyan ng gamot pag di pa bayad at sobrang mamahal pa ng gamut,” a Facebook user complained in a mix of Tagalog and English.
“Ang anak ko po, dinala namin sa isang private hospital kaso hinihingan kami ng 50K pangdeposit eh wala akong ganung kalaking pera at that time…Talamak sa pgh at labor hosp. Tamad din mga doctor… Pero sa totoo lang mas mahal pa sa lourdes,” other complainants said.