MANILA - The administrator of the Butuan Doctors' Hospital on Wednesday said they are investigating the incident involving its staff who allegedly rejected a patient, who later died.
In a statement, Butuan Doctors' Hospital administrator Maria Chiara Estacio expressed their deepest condolences to the family of Jannary ''Yanna'' Chan, who was brought to the hospital on July 15.
The girl's mother, in a Facebook post that has gone viral, said a staff of the hospital demanded a P30,000 deposit and claimed that the 10-year-old girl was not an emergency case.
The girl later died of congestive heart failure.
Estacio said they became aware of the allegations only after it has been reported in the media.
"As a private facility, established in 1969, it has been Butuan Doctors' Hospital's practice to provide critical medical care to all patients, regardless of socio-economic status. It is not our policy to withhold urgent medical attention to prospective patients for financial reasons," she said in the statement.
Estacio said they launched a full investigation on the incident, and will inform the public on their findings "at the soonest possible time".
Tutz Salarda-Chan said her daughter, who has a congenital heart disease, was confined at the San Francisco Doctors Hospital two days before the incident.
But because of an emergency, she decided to transfer her daughter to the Butuan Doctors Hospital, believing it to be more well-equipped.
Salarda-Chan said they traveled for more than an hour to reach the hospital, only to be rejected because she only had around P10,000 on hand. The hospital was allegedly demanding a P30,000 deposit.
''Nakiusap po kami ng husto na tanggapin ang bata kasi sobrang emergency po at hindi na banking hours to transfer cash kasi gabi na," she said.
She said the woman manning the admission desk demanded the money.
''Malayo sa 30,000 yang hawak mong cash! Wala ditong charity, private hospital kami. Ano ba trabaho mo? Saan ba mangagaling ang pambayad nyo dito?!'' the woman allegedly told her.
"Hindi yan emergency! Ang emergency yung mga nasagasaan sa daan etc... Eh kayo galing na kayo sa isang hospital dapat bago kayo bumiyahe itinawag nyo muna sa amin 'yan! Alam nyong me cash deposit bago tanggapin ang pasyente niyo!'' the woman said.
'HOSPITAL DEPOSIT DEMAND IS ILLEGAL'
Akbayan party-list group chairperson Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said if the allegation is true, the Butuan Doctors Hospital may have violated the law.
''The law is clear on the matter. It clearly says that hospitals and medical clinics can be penalized for refusing to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency or serious cases,'' she said in a statement.
''In emergency or serious cases, it shall be unlawful for any hospital and medical facility to demand any deposit or any other form of advance payment, as a prerequisite for admission or medical treatment of a patient or to refuse to administer medical treatment and support as dictated by good practice of medicine to prevent death or serious harm," Hontiveros added.
Hontiveros said they will coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) for an investigation on the matter.
''We will coordinate with all relevant health agencies so that an immediate investigation of the matter can be conducted with the end view of rendering justice to the victim’s family. I will also talk to our partylist representatives in Congress to help in investigating the matter and in providing appropriate legislative measures to prevent future incidents from happening,” Hontiveros said.
''It is not enough that this hospital is penalized. Hospitals like this have no business providing treatment and care for individuals. The government must make an example of private medical establishments who believe profits are more important than the lives of the people."