Cash-strapped Philippine General Hospital may soon charge poor patients

Interaksyon.com reports that the state-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is cash-strapped. Citing the hospital’s records, the report pointed out that "government subsidy was way below PGH's actual expenditures from 2000 to 2010." PGH is tagged as "the country's only national charity hospital" and is managed by the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

Interaksyon.com reports that the state-run Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is cash-strapped. Citing the hospital’s records, the report pointed out that "government subsidy was way below PGH's actual expenditures from 2000 to 2010." PGH is tagged as "the country's only national charity hospital" and is managed by the University of the Philippines College of Medicine.

 

The report went on to reveal: "The hospital could not depend on income from its pay ward alone. Of its 1,371 beds, about 800 are reserved for indigents; 453, for pay patients; and 60, for its nursery section. The hospital survives on additional funds like solons' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel. Last year, P1.5 billion of the hospital's P2.4- billion budget came from the national government, while the rest were allocations from PDAF and donations."

 

As such, in May, the PGH "revised its rates for pay patients. Among others, it increased the deposit fee at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from P10,970 to at least P40,000." The report disclosed that the new rate is "as high as the rate at private hospital The Medical City."

 

According to the report, in June, PGH director Jose Gonzales issued a memorandum ordering PGH personnel to stop offering Class D patients free services for basic procedures, such as x-rays, urinalysis, and stool examinations. The report explained that Class D patients are "those earning less than P7,500 a month. They make up about 80 percent of PGH's patients."

 

However, the report quoted UP Manila chancellor Dr. Manuel Agulto, who stressed their rates are still "lower compared to those of some private tertiary hospitals. Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital, for example, require P80,000 and P100,000, respectively."

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For more on this story, log on to Interaksyon.com.

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