The Provincial Board is set to look into the operations of private hospitals, particularly the fees and rates they charge to patients.
Board member Al Rama, in a privilege speech Tuesday, noted complaints from the public about exorbitant fees some hospitals charge to their patients.
Rama said he particularly wanted to know if there are standard prices for services, medicine and use of hospital apparatus.
Other board members joined Rama on the need to look into the random complaints against hospital fees.
“Walang magawa ang mga pasyente kundi sumunod. Kung walang pambayad ay hindi pinapalabas kaya mas lalo pa rin lumalaki ang mga bills. Ang masama, namatay na ang pasyente nila ay hindi pa rin mailabas dahil wala o kulang ang pambayad,” Rama said.
The board members sought to invite to its Question Hour session the Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary for hospital opearation, the vice president of PhilHealth- MIMAROPA, the manager of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Palawan and representatives from both private and government hospitals in the province.
Rama also claimed that hospital rates and medical fees have tended to increase along with the advent of Philhealth and charitable institutions.
“Noon wala pa masyadong mga assistances na binibigay ay mababa pa ang singil, pero noong nagbigay na ng assistance tumaas din ang kanilang mga charges. So, hindi natin alam kung ano-ano ba ang mga kanilang mga basis sa paniningil nila,” Rama added.
Meanwhile, Board Member Winston Arzaga said that this is a persistent issue where representatives of hospitals in Palawan always have the same answer.
“Pare-pareho lang ang sagot ng mga ‘yan [representatives from private and government hospitals], hindi nagbabago. Mas maganda na mga higher offices nila ang ipatawag para iba ang dating sa kanila, kasi ang mga prices nireregulate’ yan,” Arzaga said.