From now on, poor patients will no longer have to worry about hospitals that refuse to treat them in emergency situations without a deposit, Senator Risa Hontivero said Friday.
Hontiveros’ remarks comes after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10932 or the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law.
“It is the duty of the State to provide adequate health care to its citizens. This law is a reflection of this duty and of our continued commitment to improve and provide sufficient health care to the sectors of society that need it the most. People who need emergency medical care can now be assured of stronger rights under the law,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
Under the new law, which was authored by Hontiveros, penalties now include imprisonment of up to four to six years for hospitals who demand any deposit or other forms of advance payment as a pre-requisite for admission or medical treatment of an emergency patient.
Fines have also been increased to reflect the strengthening of the regulation. Hospitals that refuse to provide emergency patients with basic care face penalties ranging from PHP 100,000 to PHP 1,000,000.
The Department of Health (DoH) has also been authorized to revoke the license of a health facility after three repeated violations committed pursuant to an established policy of the hospital or clinic or upon the instruction of its management.
Hontiveros, meanwhile, thanked her fellow senators for supporting this law and the Executive branch for signing the measure.
“Mas mahalaga ang buhaykesakita. Dahilsabatasnaito, wala ng mahirapnaitataboy ng mgaabusadong hospital. Wala ng mahirapnamagmamakaawa para samedikalnakalinga (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),” she added. (Azer N. Parrocha/PNA)