Hospitals should not charge patients for donated or gov't-issued PPEs: DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2020 07:12 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2020 07:36 PM

Hospitals should not charge patients for donated or gov't-issued PPEs: DOH 1
Health workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) man the entrance of the emergency room at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday warned hospitals against charging patients for personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Kung ang mga PPE ay nagmula sa ating pamahalaan o kaya ay donasyon bayad na po ito at dapat hindi singilin ng ang pasyente sa paggamit nito,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire during a televised briefing.

(If the PPEs are from the government or were donated then it has been paid for and patients should not be charged for its use.)

She was responding to a question from a netizen who said that a hospital in Manila was charging patients for the frontliners' PPEs. 

“Babayaran lang ng pasyente ang PPE kung ang ospital mismo ang gumastos dito,” Vergeire explained.

(The patient will only pay for the PPE if the hospital spent for it.)

At the same time, Vergeire reiterated that PPEs like face masks or suits should be given first to health care workers.

She said hospitals should distribute the PPEs to its health workers as soon as they are delivered and undergo inventory.

“Sila (health care workers) po ang dapat nating iprioritize. Kaya tayo nagbibigay ng kaukulang PPEs sa ating mga health facilities ay sa kadahilanan na gusto nating proteksyonan ang mga frontline health workers,” Vergeire said.

(They are the ones that should be prioritized. The reason why we are giving out PPEs to our health facilities is because we want to protect our frontline health workers.)

The health officials also reminded hospitals to give their workers hazard pay and to treat them well.

“Bigyan natin ng nararapat na incentive ang ating health workers at bigyan nyo ng maayos na working conditions para sila ay maalagaan at matugunan ang kanilang pangangailangan,” she said.

(Let’s give our health workers their incentives and ensure proper working conditions so we can care for them and address their needs.)

Vergeire asked the public to report hospitals who violate rules or abuse health workers to their COVID-19 emergency hotlines: (02) 894 - 26843 or 1555 for PLDT, Smar, Sun and TNT subscribers.