TIMESMAN| A soldier’s choice

REPUBLIC Act No.10932 or the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law that protects poor patients refused by hospitals in emergency situations without a deposit is now in effect

after President Duterte signed the measure last week.

Authored by Sen. Liza Hontiveros, the new law penalizes hospitals that demand deposit or other forms of advance payment as a prerequisite for admission. Penalties include imprisonment of up to four to six years and fines ranging from P100,000 to P1,000,000.

Better late than never although my wife’s death three years ago may also be attributed to the delayed attention of the hospital because of its policy on “No deposit, no admittance,” yet I still thank the government for the new law as it will finally help patients, especially the poor, who can’t financially meet an emergency case.

When my wife suffered a stroke in the house after seven years she was operated in the head, we brought her to a hospital where I was asked something around P30,000 as initial deposit.

But since it was 2 o’clock in the morning and my ATM account was not enough for that amount, I begged the hospital to allow me to give the required deposit when the bank opens at 9 a.m. The hospital denied my request. My wife died without receiving proper medical attention.

No, I am not fully blaming the hospital for her death because in her situation, even the doctor that operated her due to aneurism already warned me that my wife will only last for two years. But my wife lived for more than seven years until that fatal morning.

The Department of Health (DOH) has also been authorized to revoke the license of the hospital after three repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the health facility or clinic or upon instruction of its management.

On this, I would say that the new law is not exactly perfect as the guilty hospital would still be allowed to operate and commit the violation for three times before it will be closed. Ibig sabihin, kailangan may mamamatay munang tatlong pasyente bago magsara ang ospital. Pastilan!

Hontiveros for her part, said: “Mas mahalaga ang buhay kaysa kita. Dahil sa batas na ito, wala ng mahirap na itataboy ng mga abusadong hospital. Wala ng mahirap na magmamakaawa para sa medikal na kalinga (Life matters more than income. With this law, there won’t be any poor patients rejected by abusive hospitals. There won’t be any poor patients that would have to beg for medical services).”

Pero gaya nga ng sinabi ko, kailangan munang may mamatay ng tatlong beses bago magkaroon ng kahalagahan ang batas. Pastilan uli!

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On his second visit to Marawi City last Friday (the first one was on the eve of his second Sona on July 24, President Duterte cautioned soldiers to “Stay alive and fight cool… do not go into (battle) in a rage (lest) you put yourself in trouble.”

The President also promised to reward soldiers with free trips abroad, maybe Hong Kong for two. He even volunteered to request actress to accompany a soldier who wants to.

In this case, the President may get the ire of the soldiers’ wives. A soldier might choose an actress over his wife. Aray! Kaya huwag na lang, Mr.President.

On former President PNoy Aquino, Duterte called him “fool” for questioning the effectiveness of his anti-drug campaign. Aquino said: “It seems, nothing has changed.”

“That hurt,” President Duterte said referring to the former president comment. “That’s insulting. Many of my soldiers died and my police were wounded,” Duterte said.

“So if you’re careless and say that ‘nothing happened,’ I’d really lose my cool. So don’t just comment on this because you don’t know the real score,” the President added.

I would suggest to PNoy to listen.

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Posted in Opinion