Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III expressed full support on the Anti-Hospital Deposit Act recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte prohibiting health facilities from demanding advance payments from patients before confinement.
Republic Act (RA) 10932 also increases the penalties for hospitals that refused patients in their facility during emergency cases.
“I’m very much in favor of that kay kasagaran man gud mabiktima ini kining mga pobre ba, who could not afford to pay the deposit,” Davide said in his regular talk with reporters last Sunday during Cebu Province foundation day commemoration.
Clearly, the law is intended to private hospitals since government-owned ones are free, he said.
Davide said this should relieve families of patients or patients who will be confined in private sanitarium and who could not afford to pay deposit.
“I hear complaints from certain person nga moreklamo lagi sila, nga dili ma admit ang ilang members sa family nga may sakit kay dili makadeposit, balibaran sa ospital ba,” Davide said.
Just the same, even without deposit, the patient will be billed of hospital expenses upon his release, Davide said.
“Ang provincial and district hospitals free man gyud na, way pangayoong deposit kay free ang admission diha as most of the patients are indigents,” the governor said.
Presidential Communications Operations Office in Malacañang, in its news release, said the law provides that “in emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital or medical clinic to request, solicit, demand or accept any deposit or any other form of advance payment as prerequisite for administering basic emergency care, for confinement or medical treatment, or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support to any patient.”
Asked if this anti-hospital deposit law will decongest Cebu’s 12 district hospitals and four provincial hospitals, Davide said patients who can afford may avail of the facility’s services not to worry about pre-admission payments.
“If they want medical help nga mas moderno tingali, which in their opinion maka-kwan nila (cure them), they can now go to private hospitals,” said Davide.
The news release further states that under this new law, any official, medical practitioner or employee of the hospital or medical clinic who violates the provisions of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months and one day but not more than two years and four months, or a fine of not less than P100,000.00 but not more than P300,000.00 or both.
It added that higher penalties of imprisonment of four to six years, or a fine of not less than P500,000.00 but not more than one million pesos, or both, are imposed upon directors or officers of hospitals or clinics responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies or instructions violative of this Act.
RA 10932 amends Batas Pambansa Bilang 702 and RA No.8344.
Under RA 8344, penalty of imprisonment is the same, but a lesser fine; of not less than Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) but not more than One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) or both.
Department of Health (DOH) may revoke hospital’s license to operate if found guilty of violating the law in three repeated instances. (OCP)