MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Nancy Binay has filed a resolution seeking probe into hospitals refusing to accept and to discharge patients who have no money to pay for deposit or hospital bills.
The lady lawmaker also urged the Department of Health (DOH) to strictly monitor and implement its policies on the hospitals which turns down persons in need of immediate medical attention due to money problem.
“Lives are put on the line when hospitals refuse to admit patients who are critically ill,” Binay said in a press statement.
In her Senate Resolution No. 837, Binay wanted the proper Senate committee to look into a hospital which refused to admit a child suffering from congenital heart diseases, diabetes and kidney problems because her mother could pay for the admission.
The refusal of the Butuan Doctors Hospital to admit 10-year-old Jannary “Yanna” Chan reportedly led to her death as her mother, Tutz Salarda-Chan along with two nurses from the San Francisco Doctors Hospital from Agusan del Sur, tried to find a hospital that would treat her critically ill child.
”There are many cases of patients being turned down by hospitals due to lack of money for deposit or refused to discharge for failure to pay in full the hospital bills. This practice is prohibited under the law,” Binay said.
The senator cited Article XIII, Section I of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which said that “The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social economic, and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power of the common good.”
Binay also pointed out that Republic Act No. 8344, Section I states that “In emergency or serious cases, it shall by unlawful for any proprietor, president, director, manager or any other officer, and/or medical practitioner of employee of a hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as a prerequisite for confinement or medical treatment of a patient in such hospital or medical clinic or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support as dictated by good practice of medicine to prevent death or permanent disability.”
Furthermore, R.A. 9439, Section I, provides: “It shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic in the country to detain or to otherwise cause, directly or indirectly, the detention or patients in the country who have fully or partially recovered or have been adequately attended to or who may have died, for reasons of nonpayment in part or in full of hospital bills or medical expenses.”
“These are the laws on healthcare in the country and yet, it seems that the Department of Health has been lax in ensuring that hospitals comply. The 1987 Constitution, clearly states that we have to look into cases like the death of this 10-year-old child,” Binay said.
“Meanwhile R.A. 8344 and R.A. 9439 prove that hospitals should not be implementing unjust practices. Sinasabi po sa batas na karapatan po ng mamamayang Pilipino ang mabigyan serbisyong medikal, isa po ito sa mga bagay na dapat siguraduhin ng ating gobyerno at sana po ay suportahan natin ang mga hakbang upang maisakatuparan ito,” Binay added. (MNS)