The Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) management has been asked by the provincial board to explain why it is collecting rent for folding beds used by patients’ relatives and carers while they are confined in the medical institution.

In his privilege speech during Tuesday’s regular session, Board Member Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez brought up the subject, claiming he had received information that folding beds were being rented out for P300 each.

He stressed that, contrary to what he discovered, people should be able to access medical services for free because of the Malasakit Center’s presence in the hospital.

Renting out foldable beds to confined patients’ companions has been going on since 2017, he added.

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“Hangga’t maaari, dapat libre sila sa mga gamot, sa doktor, at hospital, pero may umusbong na issue na doon na pinapaupa [ang folding beds] mismo sa government-owned hospital,” Rodriguez said.

Dr. Melecio Dy, ONP chief of hospital, stated in a text message to Palawan News on Tuesday that there is a job order employee who offers folding beds for rent but has already been placed on preventive suspension.

He stressed that there are no rental costs for hospital equipment at the hospital.

“This was already reported last week to us by a radio station. Ang ONP [ay] hindi nagpapa rent ng any gamit. May isang job order [employee,] sarili nyang gawa at nagpa renta,” Dy explained.

In addition, he said the hospital is also conducting investigation regarding the matter.

“Under preventive suspension na siya and ongoing ang fact-finding with final report due within this week,” he added.

Rodriguez also requested that all hospital chiefs in the province issue a warning to their personnel about engaging in anomalous transactions.

Meanwhile, the provincial board asked Governor Jose Alvarez, in a resolution, to allocate funding for the acquisition of folding beds for all provincial government-owned hospitals.

“Hinihiling natin na mismong ang gobernador ay makapaglaan din ng pondo para sa 16 provincial government-owned hospitals para sa folding beds para sa mga bantay ng pasyente,” Rodriguez said.

“Nakakalungkot minsan na ang mga bantay ng pasyente ay doon din lang hihiga sa patient’s bed,” he added.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.