PGH: Hospital for the Poor No More; Employees, health groups oppose hospital fee increases

In case of non-PhilHealth coverage, patients will be assessed by the hospital’s social service which will then find donors to help them. If no donor is found, Ebesate said that the OR fee would be waived. His group, however, doubt if this will be implemented.

In many cases, Ebesate said that nurses and physicians shoulder the charges passed on even to poorest-of-the-poor patients. “Wala pa nga ‘yung OR fee, hindi na kaya ng mga pasyente ‘yung mga (simpleng) bayarin. Paano pa kapag nagtaas na?” (Even now that there is no OR fee, patients cannot afford basic fees. What more if the fees increase?)

Wrong priority

Ebesate, chief nurse of the PGH nursing service, said that it is not true that there is no fund available for health services. “Mali lang ang priority,” (The priority is wrong) he said, citing misappropriations in the national budget as a result of higher allocation for debt service and military expenditures.

Since 1983, Ebesate said that the PGH budget for personnel services (PS) and maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) has never reached P1 billion ($20.7 million). Their actual computations showed that they need about P2 billion ($41.4 million).

He said that the PGH has been generating income to augment the government’s meager budgetary allocation. From three percent in the past, Ebesate said that PGH has been earning 30 percent of its total budget at present.

To show their firm opposition to the rate increases, Ebesate said that all groups of the UP-PGH plan to stage mass actions at the offices of concerned government agencies like the Departments of Budget and Management (DBM) and Finance (DOF). (Bulatlat.com)

(Computation of dollar equivalents based on an exchange rate of P48.305 per US dollar)

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