Hontiveros law bucks hospital deposits

Hospitals that are refusing to treat patients without deposit during emergency situations will be liable under a new law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Senator Riza Hontiveros, visiting in Puerto Princesa on Saturday, said the new law, Republic Act No. 10932 or the “Strengthened Anti-Hospital Deposit Law”, was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last August 3.

Hontiveros, who was the law’s principal author, explained that any private and public hospital that will ask for any form of advance payment or require money deposit before treatment of an emergency patient will be liable.

The penalty that may be imposed on violators range from fines of up to P1 million and imprisonment from four to six years. The Department of Health (DOH) can also revoke the license of any medical practitioner or employee of a hospital or a medical clinic if the facility is proven to commit three repeated violations of the provisions of the act.

“Magkakaroon ng fact-finding at imbestiga muna ang DOH doon sa ospital na nirereklamo at kapag nakahanap sila ng ebidensya na talagang nilabag ang karapatan ng pasyente, puwede s’yang patungan ng administrative penalties hanggang sa pag-revoke ng lisensya on the third offense. Kung gusto pa ng pasyente maghain ng criminal case, puwede rin,” said Hontiveros.

Hontiveros said the bill had long been pending in Congress since the mid 1980s but was never passed.

“Ang original nito ay noong 1987, si dating senator (Freddie) Webb pa ang author nito. Kaya lang sa nakaraang dalawang dekada, andami pa rin naming nababalitaan na paglabag d’yan kaya pinalakas namin,” said Hontiveros.

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